Teachers Wage War


Tanya Wadhawan, Staff Writer

      Despite the fact that Palos Verdes is the 80th richest community in the United States, Palos Verdes High School and Palos Verdes Peninsula High School teachers, have not received a raise in the past seven years.

      The cost of living adjustment (COLA) is the adjustment of wages and salaries in ratio to the price of living. In the past seven years, cola has gone up 3.3 to 5.8% annually. Meanwhile, the wages that PVPUSD teachers are paid have remained stagnant. However, the California budget is now balanced which means that there is a surplus of money within the state government, and there is more money for public schools.

      Recently, it was also discovered that the PVPUSD is the lowest paid district in all of Los Angeles County. Mr. Harley, a teacher that has ambitiously taken on eight classes this year, states, “The school board needs to understand that all PVPUSD teachers have sacrificed for years and now its time for us to be given fair compensation.”

     Mr. Harley, along with many of our teachers such as Ms. Barton, Mr. Calizar, Mr. Whalen, and even some Peninsula High teachers, attended a board meeting on September 11, where they asked for a mere 2% increase in wages. The district refused and insists on keeping the pay for 185 days which is the minimum amount teachers can be paid per state law starting in 2014.

     Palos Verdes High School’s own Sea King, Jackson Waite, was chosen among a pool of candidates to represent our student population at these board meetings. In his speech, Waite stated, “We (the students) can feel the unhappiness of the teachers and it is affecting us.” To the annoyance of the board, he also stated how it is the district’s job to do something about it.

      “It is not about the money, it is about the respect,” says Mr. Harley. PVHS teachers are not taking no for an answer, when it comes to the respect they deserve. They plan on taking action and passing out pamphlets to parents for back to school night. Also, starting October 4th teachers will close their classrooms during lunch to all activities, and on starting October 18th teachers will boycott Aeries. Teachers are even going as extreme as not writing any letters of recommendation after November 1st.

Waite reflects on his words at the meeting, “I probably didn’t make any friends on the board but I don’t regret anything I said at all, and I will stand by and protect my teachers, fellow students, and the sea king community as long as I have to.”