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HAYWARD TEACHERS pack a union meeting at the Hayward Adult School to discuss and vote on a new contract. Teachers went back to work Thursday after their union and the district came to a tentative agreement on a new deal. (ANDA CHU Staff)
HAYWARD — Teachers overwhelmingly approved a new salary package Thursday, officially ending an emotionally charged strike that lasted 10 school days.

Union leaders posted polls from 2 to 4 p.m. at the Hayward Adult School for members to vote on the agreement, which passed with 89 percent approval, union officials reported. Of the 1,001 members who voted, 895 gave the agreement the thumbs up.

"Now we get to move on and do what we do best — and that's teach," said Kathy Crummey, Hayward Education Association president. "We're stronger today than we were at the beginning of this year. We are united."

Teachers will receive an 8 percent increase effective this month, with another 3 percent increase beginning in February 2008.

A 1 percent bonus also will be given by July 15.

A previously proposed parcel tax to raise teacher salaries was scrapped, the union said.

Teachers, who rank among the bottom fifth of the 17 Ala-meda County unified school districts in terms of compensation, according to the Alameda County Office of Education, will now rank in the top eight in February 2008.

Beginning certificated teachers in the district now earn $47,939, while the highest-paid educators pull in $75,167 annually. Those salaries will jump to $52,863 and $88,000, respectively.

Superintendent Dale Vigil said he was elated to hear the outcome of the vote. The district now will bring the agreement before trustees during the May 9 school board meeting.


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An injunction the district previously filed to end the strike will now be withdrawn, Vigil said.

The current three-year contract for teachers expires in June 2008 and calls for mid-contract salary negotiations. Union leaders will begin negotiating on a new contract beginning in July 2008.

Meanwhile, teachers returned to their classrooms Thursday for the first time since hitting the picket lines on April 5.

Shannon Moon, an English teacher at Hayward High School, was glad to get back to work.

"The spirits are high and the kids were really excited to see us back," she said. "Now I'm just in the process of regrouping my students so that we can continue the rest of the school year together."

Students also shared their teachers' and school officials' feelings.

"Some teachers just went straight into classwork, which surprised some of us," said Kidan Habtay, a sophomore at Hayward High. "But it just felt good to come back to an actual learning environment."

Vigil, who spent part of Thursday visiting school sites, said the district will begin trying to ease the tension from the labor dispute.

"From past experiences, what you do is start working on healing and find ways to start focusing on students, which why we're all here, and to provide them the education that they need," he said. "In the meantime, we'll work to redevelop our relationships and re-establish our relationships again. Everyone will do that."

Still, the teachers strike did more than compensate educators.

"We won more than just dollars," Crummey said. "The Hayward community is now galvanized to save our schools and education in Hayward."

Kary Loredo-Welch, a member of the recently formed parent group Families in Action, said the community will continue to knock on the district's door for answers.

"This is only the beginning," she said. "(Today) is the first day to begin our work in making sure something like this never happens again."

Kristofer Noceda can be reached at (510) 293-2479 or knoceda@dailyreviewonline.com. meda County unified school districts in terms of compensation, according to the Alameda County Office of Education, will now rank in the top eight in February 2008.

Beginning certificated teachers in the district now earn $47,939, while the highest-paid educators pull in $75,167 annually. Those salaries will jump to $52,863 and $88,000, respectively.

Superintendent Dale Vigil said he was elated to hear the outcome of the vote. The district now will bring the agreement before trustees during the May 9 school board meeting.

An injunction the district previously filed to end the strike will now be withdrawn, Vigil said.

The current three-year contract for teachers expires in June 2008 and calls for mid-contract salary negotiations. Union leaders will begin negotiating on a new contract beginning in July 2008.

Meanwhile, teachers returned to their classrooms Thursday for the first time since hitting the picket lines on April 5.

Shannon Moon, an English teacher at Hayward High School, was glad to get back to work.

"The spirits are high and the kids were really excited to see us back," she said. "Now I'm just in the process of regrouping my students so that we can continue the rest of the school year together."

Students also shared their teachers' and school officials' feelings.

"Some teachers just went straight into classwork, which surprised some of us," said Kidan Habtay, a sophomore at Hayward High. "But it just felt good to come back to an actual learning environment."

Vigil, who spent part of Thursday visiting school sites, said the district will begin trying to ease the tension from the labor dispute.

"From past experiences, what you do is start working on healing and find ways to start focusing on students, which why we're all here, and to provide them the education that they need," he said. "In the meantime, we'll work to redevelop our relationships and re-establish our relationships again. Everyone will do that."

Still, the teachers strike did more than compensate educators.

"We won more than just dollars," Crummey said. "The Hayward community is now galvanized to save our schools and education in Hayward."

Kary Loredo-Welch, a member of the recently formed parent group Families in Action, said the community will continue to knock on the district's door for answers.

"This is only the beginning," she said. "(Today) is the first day to begin our work in making sure something like this never happens again."

Kristofer Noceda can be reached at (510) 293-2479 or knoceda@dailyreviewonline.com.