HAYWARD — All Robert MacCarthy wanted to do was incorporate his hobby of videography into documenting Hayward teachers' plight for better wages.

But after more than 3,500 views over a week on the Internet, the math and science teacher realized his video of a downtown rally is bigger than a pastime. It has become an avenue for his colleagues to tell their story.

"I wasn't sure what I was going to get, but I ended up with great footage and interviews," MacCarthy said. "It's really become a powerful piece that has united and motivated teachers."

Now with two more videos posted on YouTube, a streaming video Web site,MacCarthy and two other teachers from Winton Middle School plan to cover each day teachers are on strike.

They are calling the video series "Channel 16.84, The Truth." The 16.84 represents the wage increase percentage given to two assistant superintendents last year that teachers have also demanded.

MacCarthy's uses a fast-paced editing technique that creates a bouncing rhythm to his videos. Footage jumps back and forth from interviews to action scenes, something MacCarthy learned to do to keep his students interested when presenting instructional videos for class.

"I got to keep it hopping to keep the attention span of viewers," he said. "I'm like Muhammad Ali because I keep coming at you with the left, right, left and right."

For Yanira Canizales, a teacher serving as the bilingual reporter for Channel 16.


84, the experience has shown her how organized teachers are.

"I knew we were united, but you really don't get to see it unless you visit it from site to site, which I've been able to do covering the strike," she said. "It's just really inspiring to see and reminds me of the people who make up Hayward. We have a lot of soul here."

Canizales also says their efforts are tapping into Latino families often neglected by the mainstream news media.

Last week, teachers walked off the job for two days. The strike has spilled into this week's spring break and appears likely to resume once classes resume Monday.

Hayward Unified is offering a package based on a 7 percent raise beginning next school year with the potential to reach 8.6 percent, depending on district savings. A one-time 3 percent increase for this school year retroactive to last July is also included.

Teachers, working under a three-year contract ending in June 2008, are demanding a 16.12 percent increase over two years.

The two sides have been working on an agreement since August, and no scheduled bargaining sessions have been announced by officials. Teachers say they will continue to go on strike until they are offered a contract they cannot refuse.

Oliver Cruzada, a physical education teacher, serves as Channel 16.84's other reporter.

"We're in this for the long haul, and we just want to keep motivating and empower other teachers to keep it up until we get what we deserve," he said.

To view Channel 16.84's latest video, visit The Daily Review's blog, The HayWord, at http://www.ibabuzz.com/hayword.

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