Mt. Diablo educators fight for pay raise

CONCORD, Calif. (KRON) — Teachers at the Mount Diablo Education Association are fighting for pay raises. Dozens of them were on the picket line on Friday. KRON4 spoke with MDEA leaders about the message they are trying to send to the district.

People were picketing before and after school to send a clear message that the community would support MDEA if they decided to strike.

Hundreds of teachers, parents and even students lined the street outside school district offices on the day the district was holding an informational meeting with MDEA.

Anita Johnson, president of the Mount Diablo Education Association, told KRON4, “I hope the board sees this and sees what their community is asking them to do and realizes that our demands are what is needed. better for the students and order their bargaining team to accept our demands. »

She says they are in negotiations with the district and they still have a lot of work to do.

“What do we want? Fair contracts! When do we want it? Now!” chanted these pickets.

The current contract expires on June 30. MDEA leaders say they are asking for a 12.5% ​​raise over six years to stay financially sound.

Craig Yen is a fourth grade teacher at Valley Verde Elementary School in Walnut Creek. He said: “We haven’t received a raise since 2017.”

He was on the picket line for his first raise in five years.

Chloe Parks was also on the picket line to show her support. “I passed by this district. I met my husband in this district and our child will go to this district, so we need to make sure these teachers get what they need,” she said.

Parks is a support staff member at a school in the district. She says that in addition to inflation, teachers also deserve raises after the past two years of battling COVID-19.

“You’re in class one day and you’re expected to teach a completely different curriculum in a completely different style the next day. And they did,” she says.

MDEA leaders say they need raises to help teachers, which will trickle down to better education for students.

“We don’t want to strike, but we will if it means the best for our students,” Parks said.

Just days ago, 92% of MDEA members voted to give their executive council the power to call a strike, if necessary.

William M. Mayer