Cerritos College
Cerritos College • Norwalk, Calif.

Talon Marks

Cerritos College • Norwalk, Calif.

Talon Marks

Cerritos College • Norwalk, Calif.

Talon Marks

TM Digital Newsletter

TM TikTok

ABCUSD refuses equal pay amongst teachers

Sean Baker
The following flyer was constructed by two anonymous people who are standing in support of CTE teachers. The similarities and differences are fully written out represent inequity amongst teachers who have the same credentials. Another attempt to convince the ABCUSD will take place at the board meeting on March 1.

The ABC Unified School District has been avoiding a contract update that will enable certified CTE teachers to have equal pay compared to core subject teachers. Updating the contract will allow CTE teachers to adjust for California’s cost of living, give financial stability and help them have a solid job security.


After multiple, ongoing board meetings at ABCUSD, CTE teachers only have a salary of $61,035 after working more than 20 years with the same amount of experience as single subject teachers. For the same amount in years, single subject teachers get paid according to their degree ranging from $69,536 – $108, 926.


Many pathway students, single subject teachers, parents etc. are left feeling enraged and shocked at how the ABCUSD doesn’t address this topic at board meetings.


“ABCUSD has decided that every year their CTE teachers are temporary employees,” said Joel Duer, a CTE teacher at Cerritos High School. “There’s no equity in pay. It’s hard to build a program knowing you might not actually be there the next year.”

The pharmacy technician teacher explained how every year, CTE teachers are let go with a letter saying their services are no longer needed, which makes them go through an endless cycle of being rehired. He compared it to a handshake symbolizing letting go of the CTE teachers.


“When it comes to money, job, and your family, that’s not very assuring,” Duer said. “I feel ABC, especially with their CTE coordinator or office in general, could do a much better job with community relations and building real partnerships.” Duer mentioned that he loves teaching, but that this situation has made being a CTE instructor a hit or miss.


CTE teachers have emphasized that they have the same exact factors as single subject teachers, but are still denied equity by the ABCUSD. These factors include the same training, professional duties, union fees, and credentials to teach in California.


Viki Yamashita, a ceramics teacher at Cerritos High School, explained how she’s very sad and disappointed that the district she’s been working with for a long time fails to respect CTE teachers.

“Their income after taxes makes it impossible to live in southern California without a supplemental income, (from) either a spouse or a second or third job,” said Yamashita. “No teacher in the ABC Unified, no teacher period, should have to work a second job.”

*Sean Baker, a teacher within the ABCUSD, stated that the district is receiving a 4% surplus for operating funds, but refuses to use that towards the 18 CTE teachers within the district.


“The worst part about all of this,” said Duer, “(is that) they’re bringing people into the district through the school of choice, but they’re not backing up the teachers, and the programs are bringing in all these students too,” he said referring to the CTE program.


Duer explained through his pharmacy technician program, that he was able to generate excellent career preparation for a handful of students. He mentioned they were able to obtain a doctor or pharmacy credential straight out of high school after taking that class, putting them in good shape.


“I don’t like working and seeing my colleagues have such an inequitable situation. Teaching already has so many things that go against it,” Yamashita said. “To be slapped with the disrespect of a different pay scale and lack of job security is just not fair.”


Yamashita, Duer and Baker said a way that people can help CTE teachers is by writing to the ABCUSD directly, signing a petition and even speaking out at board meetings to demand equality for the career-prepping teachers.

*Sean Baker is a given name for a CTE teacher in the ABCUSD who wishes to keep his identity anonymous.



Story continues below advertisement
About the Contributor
Fatima Durrani, Opinion Editor
Fatima Durrani is the Opinion Editor & c0-online editor for Talon Marks. She is a Journalism major for Pre-law, and this is her last semester at Talon Mark before she transfers to a university. In addition to reporting, Fatima enjoys singing, editing photos, creating short films and reading poetry.
Leave a Comment
More to Discover

Comments (0)

All Talon Marks Picks TM Reader Picks Sort: Newest

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

Activate Search
ABCUSD refuses equal pay amongst teachers