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Sweetwater Union High School District counselors rally for better wages & benefits

school counselors rally for better wages and benefits
Posted at 9:15 AM, Nov 14, 2023
and last updated 2023-11-14 12:15:09-05

CHULA VISTA, Calif. (KGTV) — School counselors at the Sweetwater Union High School District held a rally Monday night demanding better wages and benefits.

The counselors are the employees at the school where students go when they need help or advice and in a post-pandemic world, they say they’re needed by their kids, now more than ever before.

The counselors are in labor negotiations with the Sweetwater Union High School District and feel the district isn’t meeting them where they would like.

“We take care of our kids — who takes care of us? That’s what we’re trying to work on,” says Lysabeth Luansing-Gracia, who’s been with the district for 20 years.

Michelle Beale, the president of the Sweetwater Counseling and Guidance Association, the union that represents them, says Sweetwater is 17th among other districts in terms of pay in the county.

Beale says that the superintendent, and assistant superintendent and other administrators have recently received raises.

The union won’t disclose how much more pay and benefits they’re asking of the district, but they made their case once inside at the board meeting. The union president says her counselors currently get less than a 1% increase each year.

“We are the front lines. We’re the ones doing the work. We’re the ones helping the kids. Why are we not worthy enough to see the same wage increases that you’re seeing?” says Beale.

The plan is to continue negotiations at the end of November.

ABC 10News reached out to the district for comment, but a spokesperson told us they do not comment on labor negotiations.