The Teacher’s Outcry for Higher Salaries and Recognition

  • April 29, 2022

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The work Slow Down began on February 7th of 2022, and was sparked by the ABCUSD’s lack of negotiation with the ABCFT to have higher salaries. As a result of this, many teachers have stopped working after their normal contract times. For example, many teachers have stopped grading, responding to emails, and tutoring after school hours. On February 15th, at the ABCUSD board meeting, the board of education made a tentative agreement to negotiate with the ABCFT on financial compensation for teachers and nurses. As of February 25th, the Slow Down has come to a stop, and on Monday February 28th, a virtual ballot will be held for the salary compensation. 

 

Mr. Tanioka, a math teacher at Gahr, is one of many teachers who have participated in the slow down. Mr. Tanioka joined to show the importance of how much extra hours teachers put in for their students’ education. Every day, he provides tutoring for his students at lunch or after school. Keep in mind these tutoring sessions are outside of his contracted time. He provides these tutoring sessions because when he was a student in highschool, he found that he needed more help outside of a normal class period. When Mr. Tanioka canceled the tutoring sessions due to the Slow Down, the immediate response from his first period class was anxiousness. Allen Estella, a Freshman in Mr. Tanioka’s one plus honors class, attends the tutoring sessions regularly. Allen heavily relies on Mr. Tanioka’s tutoring, and was worrisome that he would fall behind without them. This demonstrates how the education of students is dependent on the extra hours teachers work. 

 

English Honors Teacher Mrs. Yoshimi also joined in the slow down. Mrs. Yoshimi has been in the ABCFT for 19 years, and believes that teachers deserve not only salary compensation, but also to be recognized for the amount of work they put in after contract hours. Mrs. Yoshimi participated by grading and responding to students’ emails only in the contracted time. Mrs. Yoshimi is glad to see the district has made a tentative agreement for the salary compensation, and is pleasantly surprised to see that things are moving forward quickly in the right direction. 

 

The Work Slow Down demonstrates how teachers go above and beyond for their students, and yet do not receive the proper recognition or salary. It is important that district personnel, students, and parents acknowledge this, and are more respectful towards teachers. It is disheartening to hear that teachers are not recognized for all the work they do for their students’ education. The Slow Down marks a point in ABCUSD history, and influences the respect towards teachers now and in the upcoming years.