Central Unified Teachers Association members took turns demonstrating outside of the district office to show their support for their bargaining team’s efforts in getting the resources students need to succeed and to attract and retain qualified teachers.
Ultimately, nearly 400 teachers showed up during their lunch periods to support of smaller class sizes, more socio-emotional support for students and higher pay during the mediation session between CUTA and the Central Unified School District. The two have been at impasse since September. CUSD is located just outside of Fresno.
Teachers say their students are losing qualified teachers who are leaving for smaller classes and better pay at neighboring districts. CUTA President Judee Martinez says class size has been an issue and some teachers are without a home classroom, instead taking their supplies from room to room on a cart. The real problem is the salary lags far behind neighboring districts.
“We’re letting the district know we’re serious about what we’re asking for,” Martinez said. “We’ve done our homework – they can afford our proposal.”