From SF Examiner by Laura Dudnick:
As the San Francisco Unified School District budget continues to dig out from the recession, public-school teachers are asking for their first pay raise in five years.

United Educators of San Francisco, representing more than 4,000 teachers, is proposing a 21 percent pay raise over the next three years, a move the union says will help allow teachers to keep living in The City despite drastic cost-of-living increases.

Hundreds of teachers made their case in front of district offices on Franklin Street before the Board of Education meeting Tuesday evening, holding signs and chanting. Supervisor David Campos urged the district to “do the right thing” at the rally.

“I’m standing here with teachers and paraprofessionals to send a clear message that we want them to get a fair salary,” Campos said.

Claudia Tirado, 44, a third-grade teacher at Fairmount Elementary, said she’s facing an Ellis Act eviction from her Mission district apartment and a raise is crucial to helping her family. Another Fairmount teacher, Alejandro Ledesma, 32, said he’s worked for the district for four years without a raise.

“I do love my job, but it just doesn’t pay the bills,” Ledesma said as he held a sign saying “Tax tech, pay educators.”

District officials have said they are committed to giving teachers raises, but SFUSD spokeswoman Gentle Blythe emphasized the bargaining is in its initial stages.

“For the first time since the Great Recession, we are finally beginning to focus on how to prioritize spending of additional resources instead of how to absorb budget cuts,” she said.

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