The rally was organized by the Alameda Education Association, the local teachers union.
The teachers want a share of what they say is a $17.5 million surplus on the school district’s books; they say they sacrificed $2.5 million the 2010 to 2011 school year by giving up eight days of pay, as a good faith gesture. They are asking for a 2.5 percent increase for the 2013 to 2014 school year.
In March of 2011, Alameda voters approved Measure A, a school parcel tax intended to generate $84 million over seven years, or roughly $12 million per year, for the district. Teachers point to language in the measure promising that 25 percent to 26 percent of funds raised would be used to “attract and retain excellent teachers.”
Demeter Lamb, who identified herself as the spouse of a teacher, and an Alameda parent, spoke on-camera with Action Alameda News, saying that the district approved a four-year contract worth over $1 million for Superintendent Kirsten Vital, but won’t loosen the purse strings for the roughly 500 teachers in the district, many of whom live in Alameda and pay the parcel tax.
One teacher said that the workplace environment within the district is “caustic” and is causing teachers to leave “in droves.”
A flyer handed out by the Alameda Education Association indicates that an initial mediation session between the union and district is slated for March 4th.
Action Alameda News captured these pictures at the rally.