Official: 90 percent of teachers honoring strike

LA HABRA (CBS) — About 90 percent of La Habra City School District teachers walked picket lines today to protest a 2 percent pay reduction and cuts to health care benefits.

“We’re still trying to get firm numbers, but we think 90 percent or better honored the strike,” said Bill Guy, a spokesman for the California Teachers Association, the union that includes the La Habra Education

Talks between school district officials and the La Habra Education Association, which represents the district’s 225 teachers, failed Tuesday afternoon, prompting Wednesday’s walkout, Guy said.

Teachers were picketing in front of all of the district’s nine schools, but the largest group of teachers was at Imperial Middle School, 1450 S. Schoolwood Drive, which is next to Las Positas Elementary School, 1400 S. Schoolwood Drive.

Messages left with school district officials today were not immediately returned.

It was not known how many parents and students honored picket lines, Guy said.

“Again, we don’t have firm numbers, but anecdotally we’re hearing there are fewer students than normal,” Guy said.

Teachers Protest Cuts To Pay, Benefits In La Habra: KNX 1070’s John Brooks reports.

The district’s school board voted Nov. 18 to cut teacher salaries by 2 percent and force them to take two furlough days. The teachers will also have to help pay for some of their health insurance benefits.

Teachers earn an average salary of $63,000 with those at the top of the pay scale earning $99,000, Guy said. Teachers could lose between $14,000 to $20,000 in income from the cuts, Guy said.

“In the past when times were better we were able to pay for their health insurance, and now they’re being asked to pay for some of that,” outgoing school board president Susan Hango said Tuesday. Hango was expected to pass the gavel to another board member for the year at Thursday’s board meeting.

The “big sticking point” is the board’s insistence on making the cuts permanent, Guy said. That was also what prompted teachers in the Capistrano Unified School District to go on strike in April. That walkout lasted five days before board members agreed to revisit the cuts if the district’s fortunes

Hango said the cuts were necessary because of declining revenue from the state.

“We’re dependent on the state and you know what situation the state of California is in so we’re needing to be cost conscious,” Hango said. “We have to be very, very careful how our money is spent.”

District officials plan to have substitutes and administrators teach during the strike, Hango said.

“School should go on just the same,” she said. “The kids will have a different teacher, but a qualified teacher in each classroom.”

Hango said she hopes the teachers will reconsider.

“We’re very hopeful they’ll change their minds and not do this — it just breaks my heart,” Hango said.

District officials expect to save $220,000 over two years with the cuts.

Union leaders expect a large number of teachers to attend Thursday’s school board meeting. So far, there are not talks scheduled, Guy said.

(©2010 CBS Local Media, a division of CBS Radio Inc. All Rights Reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed. Wire services contributed to this report.)

Comments (21)
  1. concerneddm says:

    I am so sick of techers whining and complaining about their pay. They do not hesitate to walk off the job, with the hell with the kids attitude. This is nothing but greed. If you don’t make enough mnoney teaching QUIT, and get a job that makes you work 12 months out of the year.

    1. kidsshoulntread says:

      Did you teach yourself how t read and write……Maybe we jus need ,ore Idiot kids in the world…great idea

      1. tonsier says:

        Did a teacher educate you on how to spell?

  2. eddie says:

    Typical of teachers. GIMME GIMME GIMME! 2% paycut? Jeez, that’s nothing. And what do they do in return? Teach? nope… they lobby for more benefits and pay raises. Teachers provide nothing to society these days. Children can learn much more with a laptop and an involved parent. Fire them all.

    1. Saber 1 says:

      Police, fire fighters and school teachers are among the lowest paid in any city. These people mold and nutuer children and often inspire to further education such as college. Why don’t the superintendant of education give up some of his 180,000.00 salary or the high salary incomes to support the teachers? La Habra has better schools than the LAUSD has. Because you had a bad experience, don’t blame the teacher.

  3. Bob H. says:

    It’s a shame that these teachers don’t realize that the country and state are in financial turmoil. I work hard with half the people I had in my office two years ago just so I can try to keep up with my taxes and bills.

    Also, I’m single with no dependents and yet I pay more in taxes because of no deductions. Shouldn’t I be paying less because I do not use the public school system? It doesn’t make sense for the taxpayers to pay less when they use more services.

    1. yourkidsanidiot says:

      Do you teach children …how to write and read…….is your job more important?

  4. Bob H. says:

    Sorry, I forgot about the Lotto. Wasn’t that in conjunction with our taxes help fix our school finances? I’d like to see a story about that.

    1. Michael Benedetti says:

      I have been thinking of Lotto too. Years ago 10% was to go to schools. Let’s give more hand-outs and impose a 40% VAT tax and transfer some wealth from the hard workers to the folks who do nothing and raise one of the 68,000 California taxes, i.e., the California gas/fuel tax from .34 cents on the dollar to 50% for starters.

  5. Tonsier says:

    State and County employees are taking cuts; but keeping their jobs.
    Why do these teachers think they are immune to the financial mess?
    For some, if they were paid based on performance, they’d be looking
    at MUCH bigger cuts, if not termination. Seniors haven’t even gotten
    cost of living increases, while the government CLAIMS inflation has
    remained level. They are dipping into to savings to pay the heating bill,
    and some even forego medications. Teachers are not sacred!

  6. Den says:

    They should be thankful it’s just a pay cut and not layoffs. At least they still have jobs. I was laid off 3 months ago. I would sure give anything if my pay was cut instead of being unemployed.

  7. Diana B says:

    they need to realize that we have no money to pay them!! and for the education they are provinding we should pay them nothing. I went to public school ion a nice town of Fountain Valley and let me tell you i had an englishj teacher who wrote the work on the board and read the paper all day or played movies for us. i guess thats how my english was going to be ready for college level.

  8. Judy King says:

    A 2% paycut? In the private sector, working people have received a 5% to 10% paycut. Then in January, their insurance costs go UP – so really they are bringing home less than they did a year before. These teachers don’t work one full month out of the school year and they are complaining that they have to pay more for their health insurance? PLEASEEEEEEEE!! Join the club – I wish I had the whole summer off, 3-5 days at Thanksgiving, 2 weeks for Christmas, 1 week for Spring Break and all the stupid holidays that happen during the month. Quit your bellleyachin’

  9. alan hart says:

    In a time where there is 12% unemployment and the illegals are taking their children out of school, these teachers are very lucky to have jobs. If they protest too much, it would only take about twenty minutes to replace them with people equally or more qualified.

  10. Jose says:

    If I was not teaching in a private school I would be there in a heartbeat, the public salary WITH a 2% cut is 15K more than I make. And yes, I have a credential and an MA in teaching.

  11. Daniel G. says:

    As long as America’s children are near the bottom of the world’s educational levels (as we still outsource to more competent, lesser paid people), a pay and benefits cut is not out of the question. The same goes for all incompetent, mismanaged government employees. Let the shrinkage begin.

  12. Todd says:

    I am a teacher at a small, private school in West Hollywood. This year we were not given a raise, and the school’s contribution to our retirement fund was done away with. You know what I say? THANK YOU for still keeping me employed! The teachers in La Habra need to watch the news a bit more and realize that they are the fortunate ones. They have a paycheck coming in when many people don’t. They are giving all teachers a bad name.

  13. Karen says:

    Gee wiz so sad that they only have to take a 2% pay cut and 2 furlogh days and they have have pay for their helth benefits! What a bunch of babies it disgusts me that they call themselves professionals. They need to try step into the real world. I took a 7% pay cut last year and every year our health benefits go up every year! And yes I work for a partially state funded institution.

  14. 3z says:

    2% cut, get over it.. I’ve got three pay cut since ’07. First wave was 20%, second wave was 15% and third wave was 5% and the benefits went too. It’s the greed of most Californians plus Unions that always want more when times are tough. If we want California to rebound back we need to make the effort by taking pay cuts now so later the pay goes back to normal. But if the effort is not made then lay-off are the answer. One thing the Union ain’t paying you no more then 3% of what is made in a month. And good luck in finding a new and well title paying job. Company have trim the fat and they still feel like trim down to the bone. Californian need to smart about this or regret it later. I do understand that they’re teaching the future CEO’s, GM’s etc., but wake up and look around there’s people going 2 years without work. There’s going to be time when the carpet beneath the greedy people is going to be ripped out underneath them. So like I say after the rain the sun shines.

  15. 7L1I4 says:

    These teachers were spitting and cussing and the substitutes. That is a horrible and disgraceful way to get your point across. I believe those that do not know how to handle themselves with a little bit of class should not get their benefits back and should not be in the classroom with my children. While they are acting like animals on the picket line the people who they call “scabs” are TEACHING THE CHILDREN and doing the job they signed up to do FOR THE KIDS!!! stay on your strike spitting and cussing..the subs deserve your money by doing the JOB of EDUCATING our children which you are refusing to do!!!

  16. Dee says:

    Not that I think this will even matter however I live out of state and am from Southern California. These issues are everywhere. and as I feel teachers are underpaid… so is everyone right now. People are losing there jobs left and right. There are no raises pay increase. We all have important jobs I dont care what your title is. You can stand there and say Im a teacher… great it is no more important the anyone else out there. This issue is bigger then your bottom line. Our country is in crisis……

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