The first week of school is starting with a statement.
Banning teachers like Patricia Diaz are on strike. “Nobody asked us for our opinion, nobody asked us what we thought would be best for them and I’m just tired of this disrespect from our district,” says Diaz.
The Banning Teacher Association says part of the reason teacher are protesting is because the district added an additional hour of instruction last year without any negotiations.
Nicolet Middle School Counselor Nancy Almada Hernandez says, “It was not discussed. It was just from one day to another, they told parents, students and staff we’re having an extra hour.”
Teachers say change came with no extra compensation. At least 200 Banning Unified School District teachers are on strike during the first week of school and parents are supportive.
Parent Susie Berghoeffer says, “These teachers support our kids all year long, everyday, so at least we can do is support them for three days while they strike.”
And to show support, she’s keeping her son at home. “Just hope that they win the strike,” she says.
In a letter to parents, the superintendent says, “I want to assure you we are taking the necessary steps to ensure a smooth opening to a new school year for our 4,500 students.”
But for teachers, they say it’s not about the money, it’s about respect.
“This is why I’m here. For them. To make a difference,” says Diaz.
The teacher hope to negotiate the terms of the change in hours and will be on strike through Friday. In the mean time, the district is providing substitute teachers.