New Haven Unified Teachers Go on Strike

Teachers with the New Haven Unified School District launched their first strike ever Monday, with demonstrations taking place around Union City and South Hayward. 600 teachers are out of classes as a result of the strike, which began after a breakdown in negotiations over teacher raises.

The New Haven Teachers’ Association is seeking a 10% raise. That’s out of the question for the district, which must cut $3.9 million from next year’s budget and $4.6 million the following year. Instead, it has offered pay raises of 1% for 2019-2020 and a single 3% payout — its “last, best, and final” offer.

To avoid a strike, the district says it offered another 0.5% raise in the event of a $1 million budget surplus and another 1% raise in the event of a surplus over $2 million. It says the union rejected that.

District officials have said New Haven educators’ salaries, which average $96,000, are the highest in Alameda County. But the teachers say they sometimes end up paying tens of thousands out of pocket for health care.

The strike comes right before finals. That seems to have soured the view of some parents who would otherwise be sympathetic to the teachers.

Read more about the strike at CBS and SF Gate.