by Photo courtesy of the Chula Vista Elementary School District

Chula Vista Elementary School District teachers have worked on an expired contract since June 2021 and have been trying to secure a fair raise. 

As school children return from winter break, teachers agreed to walk out on Wednesday and not work past their contracted hours. 

“We've been going through this pandemic, distance learning, and showing up for the kids. We are doing our best and we don’t feel respected,” said Michelle Kohler, organizing chair of Chula Vista Educators (CVE).

According to a statement released by CVE, the union has distributed flyers encouraging members to walk out of school on time Wednesday. The union said members are told to only work the contracted seven-hour day with no after-school meetings, planning, or volunteering until the district offers what the union calls a reasonable pay raise and a new contract. 

“We don't feel like the district deserves our time if they’re not compensating us for it. Where's the appreciation for us?” Kohler said.

The union represents the district’s 1,400 teachers and school nurses, counselors, speech therapists, and psychologists. 

“Our educators in CVE are at a breaking point as we all agree this has been the most difficult year in public education. Having an unsettled contract only adds to the stress educators feel on a daily basis. Educators make up the backbone of our schools. That’s why our voices need to be heard and our ideas about improving our own work ought to matter,” CVE wrote in a Jan.11 statement. 

In an emailed statement, Interim Superintendent Oscar Esquivel said the district was unaware of any plans for a teacher walkout. 

“Each of our schools is busy welcoming back students, their families, and staff to the start of the new school quarter. We look forward to continuing our work with our teachers and support staff to make this a successful and safe school year for all, ”Esquivel said.

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