Newhall School District Teachers March For Living Wage

After two years of moving targets, pandemic fears, and unprecedented challenges teachers have never had to face before in the history of education, Newhall School District teachers gathered in a peaceful protest in support of a living wage.

By definition, a living wage is “a wage high enough to maintain a normal standard of living.” According to protesters, many teachers within the Newhall School District are struggling to make ends meet with their current wages.

Tuesday evening, the teachers marched after school hours to show their support for each other and to make their voices and needs heard.

“We see the surrounding districts and how they support their teachers. We see that, while observing our own school board give themselves a 5 percent raise while offering nothing to us. We need to work together, be more collaborative, and show a united front, ”said Hilary Hall, 6th Grade teacher and Co-President of the Newhall Teachers Association.

KHTS reporter on scene, Jade Aubuchon met with some of the protestors to hear straight from the source on what issues are currently important to the teachers of Newhall.

“We love our kids. We do so much for our students, learning to teach online, adapting to constantly changing expectations with limited resources. It’s not just teaching, it’s so much more now; there are so many gaps in learning and mental health issues that have developed in the last few years, ”Hall stated.

According to Hall, teachers and their families are experiencing a steep increase in the cost of insurance and other basic necessities. Paired with not having a raise scheduled in the past three years, teachers are now comparatively taking a pay cut.

Hall says that Newhall teachers are making approximately $ 10 less per hour than teachers in neighboring districts, but Hall also recognizes that a pay increase that high in one year is not realistic. Hall and her associates are currently pushing for a conversation to be started about what can be done now to relieve some of the financial struggles teachers are facing.

All teachers have at least a Bachelor’s degree plus post-grad training, and many teachers in the district also have Master’s degrees as well. Hall and many other teachers believe that due to the level of education required plus the time and effort required to run a classroom, the pay they are currently receiving is not reflective of their work, on top of the current pay being insufficient income.

“The District and the Newhall Teachers Association continue to engage in ongoing negotiations and are optimistic we can come to a final agreement in the near future,” said Jeff Pelzel, the superintendent for the Newhall School District. “The goal of our Governing Board and District Leadership is always to provide the maximum amount of compensation for our bargaining groups while adhering to the Board approved budget guidelines that will ensure we remain fiscally solvent and avoid significant reductions in staffing.”

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