Teachers propose new contract offer to end strike in Union City, Hayward

Teachers from a dozen schools in Union City and Hayward are preparing to return to the picket lines Monday as the teacher’s strike enters its third week. It comes after the New Haven Teacher’s Union made a counter offer to the district in hopes of ending the walkout.

Tensions ran high Sunday as parents from the New Haven Unified School District met with School Board Trustee Sarabjit Cheema at a town hall meeting in Union City.  

“It’s been going on for so long,” said Parent Erica Viray-Santos. “I see how it's taking a toll on my husband and all of the teachers.”

Among those who want the teachers strike to end is the Viray-Santos family with two children in the district. Father Ivan Viray-Santos is a teacher at James Logan High School. The family is now dipping into their savings because of the ongoing strike.

“There’s hundreds of families that they are affecting as they prolong this strike,” said Erica Viray-Santos. 

“My wife has been on them to stay reading, to stay doing their worksheets, and other enrichment things 
so their education is still there but at the same time for me as an individual and for a lot of my colleagues we are exhausted,” said Teacher Ivan Viray-Santos.

Talks between district managers and the teacher’s union resumed Sunday. The union's negotiating team is now proposing a six percent increase over two years.

In response the district issued a statement, that said in part, “The current proposal would cost NHUSD more than $18 million over three years, as compared to $17.62 million over three years for the previous public proposal.”

The school district has offered a one-time three percent raise for the current school year and a two percent salary increase for the coming school year.

“It’s sad, my heart is breaking because of our students, we are suffering,” said Cheema.

Board Trustee Cheema said she endorses a fact-finding report to be used as a basis for the settlement.

Many parents are concerned about high school seniors who are set to take finals this week. The district is comprised of 11,000 students. Attendance has been significantly low since the strike began.

“My senior is worried about graduating,” said Parent Colleen Weaver. “She was one of those on the bubble of making sure she got her grades right, now she's worried am I going to graduation?” said Parent Colleen Weaver.