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Ripon educators seek 1st raise in 7 years
Teachers and parents representing Ripon High School and five elementary schools in the district gathered in front of the district office over three different lunch periods. - photo by GLENN KAHL

Ripon Unified teachers are collectively standing up to the administration and the Board of Trustees displaying their angst for not having an increase in their pay  for seven years.

Teachers along with parent supporters picketed the district office over the lunch hour on Monday. The Ripon teachers bargaining unit has submitted a proposal to the district that includes a 10 percent salary increase as well as other pay and benefit related raises. The district says the request represents a 19.0633 percent increase in payroll costs if it were all granted.

Chanting their slogan loudly from the street, “Ripon teachers are the best – Ripon teachers deserve respect” many picketers also wore red buttons on their shirts reading, “outstanding teachers make outstanding students.”

Many teachers also attended Monday’s school board meeting.

Junior high teacher Gary Messick  said the Ripon District stands above some 20 other districts in the region in yearly testing while two-thirds of nearby schools fall below Ripon in test scores but receive a higher pay.  

Ripon resident Pam Moore, stopped her car in the middle of the street and cheered the teachers on toward more pay and recognizing their proficiencies

It’s all about ethics, morals, and values, she said.  

“I would like to see more educational offerings in the city,” she said, noting that she hopes to see her dream of a cultural center develop in Ripon.

Rod Wright, president of the Ripon Unified District Association, added that the four teachers let go during the recession have not been replaced while the district office staff has been increased by four individuals.

“We’re not going to get the top teachers any more when they compare our pay scales with other districts in the region,” Wright added