Last month, Local 856 member, Teresa Rumberger received nearly $12,000 in back pay after she discovered her employer, the West Contra Costa Unified School District (WCCUSD), had been paying her incorrectly for years.
In addition to Teresa’s normal job duties as a classroom support aide for students with special needs, she administers toileting assistance to one of her students. According to her Teamsters 856 contract, she is entitled to a 10 percent stipend on top of her wage for this extra work. Until last year, Teresa had not been paid for her work at all in the years she performed the job.
Last October, after a coworker brought the stipend to her attention, Teresa reached out to her Local 856 representative, Jeanette Bradfield, who immediately contacted the district.
When the District tried to pay Teresa only for the current school year, Jeanette and Teresa said it was not good enough.
“The District realized they dropped the ball,” said Jeanette. “It was established that Teresa should have been paid and when there was pushback, we took it to the interim superintendent and made them do right by our member.”
In the end, WCCUSD agreed to pay Teresa retroactive to 2015.
Because of the aggressive representation by her Local 856 representative, Teresa received about $12,000 in backpay — an amount with the potential to change her family’s life.
“We’ve been trying to save for a house,” said Teresa. “We rent now and it’s too small for us. This will give me a chance to really save.”
Teresa has some advice for her fellow Teamsters: “Don’t let management walk all over you,” she said. “If you think something is wrong, call your rep immediately.”