Berkeley school employees demonstrate for new contract

Berkeley Council of Classified Employees demonstrated on Friday March 28, 2014 outside BUSD’s HQ on Bonar Street. Photo: Ted Friedman

Around 100 Berkeley Unified School District employees — including instructional assistants, school secretaries, custodians, bus drivers, and some of their children — held a rally and demonstrated on the afternoon of Friday March 28 in front of BUSD’s headquarters at 2020 Bonar St.

The demonstrators, members the Berkeley Council of Classified Employees (BCCE) which represents 570 classified employees within Berkeley Unified, said that their top concerns were income inequality, affordable health care, and a stable learning environment.

Photo: Ted Friedman
Photo: Ted Friedman

In a prepared statement the union wrote: “For the past three years, Local 6192 has tried to negotiate a new contract with the district and has been working under the old one ever since.”

BCCE President Paula Phillips said, “We have members who pay over 30% of their paychecks towards medical benefits, and the district wants to give raises to management without lifting up the bottom, too. We are here to say that Berkeley can and should do better for the sake of our members, our schools, and our community.”


Berkeley Council of Classified Employees demonstrated on Friday March 28, 2014 outside BUSD's HQ on Bonar Street. Photo: Ted Friedman
Photo: Ted Friedman

Ted Friedman who took the photos here, said the demo was “spirited,” and that many cars driving by honked their horns to show solidarity.

Last week Berkeley Unified announced that it had reached a tentative agreement on a 2013-2015 contract with the Berkeley Federation of Teachers.

Berkeley Council of Classified Employees demonstrated on Friday March 28, 2014 outside BUSD's HQ on Bonar Street. Photo: Ted Friedman
Photo: Ted Friedman
Berkeley Council of Classified Employees demonstrated on Friday March 28, 2014 outside BUSD's HQ on Bonar Street. Photo: Ted Friedman
Photo: Ted Friedman

Related:
Berkeley teachers, district reach tentative contract agreement (03.26.14) 
Berkeley teachers, district agree on 2.5% wage increase (05.31.13)
Berkeley teachers’ bonus plan rebuffed by district (03.07.13)
Portraits: Berkeley school gardening and cooking educators (05.29.13)
Berkeley appoints Donald Evans as new Schools Superintendent (05.22.13)

Do you rely on Berkeleyside for your local news? You can support independent local journalism by becoming a Berkeleyside Member. You can choose either a monthly payment or a one-time donation.