WUSD board finalizes RCHS teacher wage after 2 years


RCHS students and teachers showing their support in the RCHS car park on September 6th 2016.

          Washington Unified School District (WUSD) board finalized River City high school (RCHS) teachers wage, after 2 years of argument about the wage increase issue between teachers and the WUSD board at the West Sacramento city hall.

The board meetings started last year, and it was carried out through 2016. Meetings were held for board members, students, teachers, and parents to discuss the significance of wage raise for the RCHS teachers. Protests were made before meetings, and the school hours.

This matter was extremely significant for the teachers and the students of River City. Major school facilities were banned and students were unable to use them, because the school was unable to give the students what they demanded, due to the low wages. Clubs like Command dance crew ,and Wanted changed their choreography practice location, from the dance room to the trails behind River City. River City junior Jackie Rodriguez emotionally, and impactfully stated, “we have lost a lot of dancers from wanted dance crew, i don’t want your pity, i just want the money that our teachers deserve.”

In between the meetings, there were protests at River City, where students ditched their class and stayed with the teachers at the RCHS car park. This caused a big decrease in attendance and a huge increase in tardiness and attendance contract notices. On september 6th, 200 students held a protest, students and parents planned a massive sick-in ,and all content was covered by Fox news.      

            The school board had over 4 meetings on this topic. Many students, and families attended these meetings to support teachers, they also took part in Protests outside the West Sacramento City hall.

This issue brought lots of tears and hurt to parents, teachers, and students. Some students moved schools because teachers kept quitting their jobs. Parents were getting angry because students were losing the teachers that they have grown close to, and gotten a relationship with. Many teachers stay after school hours, to support student clubs. Clubs that are not paid for got canceled, the dance  crews could not have dance practice on school grounds and couldn’t have any performances. They could only dance at rallies.

Teachers started to get aggressive towards their students. Students saw their teachers in so much frustration, which mentally affected the students as well. This started in 2015 when teachers realized that WUSD has more money than it needs, but it still can’t support teachers economically. RCHS economics teacher Carlisle confidently stated, “if we look at this situation economically, teachers teach so they can get money, i mean you have to pay us if you want us to teach, this will be beneficial for us and the students because no one would work at a low wage.”

Teachers were taking more days off than normal. So many teachers unattended or missed school days that a teacher had to use his or her prep period to cover for another teacher because substitutes were unavailable. All these issues affected middle school students as well. Nathan Johnson, an 8th grade student at southport elementary stated, “I’m going to highschool next year and now i’m not that excited.”

Many teachers made a pact with one another to inform the district that they want to get paid. That meant that clubs and entertainment show that Mrs. Adams puts on twice a school year got cancelled. Parents were also in support of the students of the teachers, because their children’s future depends on their teachers.

Erika Booher, a parent of 3 students at River City stated, “ I think the teachers deserve a raise because they work really hard and provide resources for our children to learn outside of school. They give students emotional support, and help students out in their personal time.”

RCHS teachers discussed that they were ready to strike on september 22, 2016, however this plan was foiled, thanks to the WUSD board. Strike rumors caused a lot of stress for the students. This was the most exhausting, and emotional stage for RCHS students. A WUSD school attendee parent stated, “Kids and teachers are going to through and emotional stage, there is a lot of fear in the heart of the students, thinking if there teachers are going to be there with them tomorrow.”

Speeches were delivered to the board members in spanish, and english to persuade them to fulfill teacher demands. Board meeting attendee Isabella Garcia stated, “I attended the final board meeting, it was quite intense, and  the speeches made me very emotional because the teachers and students described their pain and what emotions they are carrying inside them.”

Students explained that the teachers are the light to their lives. Senior Olivia Gonzalez stated, “teachers have made a very positive impact on our lives and we need to give them what they deserve, I can count on my teachers for my smile.”

WTA supporters tried to display of mischievous acts to make the WUSD pay attention to their request. Many students even said that they will stop coming to school, which will result in no government funds to the WUSD board.

RCHS junior Anthony Luong impactfully stated, “i was out of school on monday, in support of the teachers, because i didn’t like them getting paid less than all the other teachers in the district and the state.”

Hopes were being snatched and students felt like there is no need to go to RCHS, if they don’t even know how to solve their own teacher problems. Mariah Alves, a senior, and a dancer at RCHS emotionally, and fearfully stated, “i fear that the dance programs will be taken away, because extracurriculars aren’t being funded, Nothing will happen if I go to school.”

After all these havoc, WUSD board decided to give the teachers what they deserved, which gave students, and teachers a big sense of relief. Douglas Knepps said, “now as new money has come, we are here to do a professional job, teaching children and we expect to be reciprocated with the new money that the district gets.”

On september 22nd at 9:30 p.m. a three year deal was signed. Pagan stated, “everybody is just really relieved to have reached a solution. The new contract includes a raise for each school year from 2015-2015, and 2016-2017. Fringe benefits such as district contribution to health benefits, and wages will change.

Many students said, that the school is glamorous and happy the way it used to be after the acception of the wage increase finalization. Everything for River City is now back on track, because because students can now use all the facilities, and get after school tuitions in all major subjects.

“I’m extremely happy that the teachers got a raise,” proudly stated RCHS principal Stan Mojsich. Students and parents are relieved that the teachers now have an acceptable agreement in place. Teachers are now paid a fair wage and students can finally have a quality education. Students are able to continue with extracurricular activities, such as, dance sports, music and tutoring.

RCHS Integrated math teacher Burton stated, “I’m so happy that my wages have been increased because i could have applied at Natomas Unified District, and I would have been able to make $8,000 dollars extra than i was making before.”

The school atmosphere has changed, because everyone now has the right to perform in all extracurricular activities. The board meeting was highly significant for the students because whatever decisions they made in the meeting, affected the student’s educational climate.

Parents are very happy that their requests and pleadings were accepted. A parent of 1 student at River City, Marcy Grozav stated, “I’m so happy that our children are now going to have a brighter future, I’d like to thank the board from the bottom of my heart for finally settling the contract, and improving our school system.”

The decision made by the board members has bought a very positive change in our school. Many teachers are now staying after school, and helping students complete their homework. New clubs have been opened such as MSA, and dance crews. There is also late bus transportation for the students that stay back after school.

Ex RCHS student Michael Dunham stated, “at first i was really scared of how this problem was carried out, but now i feel relieved that the board has settled everything, whatever happens in river city doesn’t just affect teachers, and students but it affects the future generation of students that will be studying at RCHS or in the Washington Unified School district.

There’ll be better senior trip this year because now our school is fully supported, it will be a magnificent experience for the students and the teachers to participate in things they didn’t get to participate in.

Mojsich Stated, “ i’m really thankful to the WUSD board members for making the right decision, teachers deserved to be treated fairly, and i think the board members are significant because their choices affect the educational climate.”