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August 29, 2008

LETTERS: Aug. 29, 2008

Teachers may not be at your school’s open house

With the opening of school this fall comes open houses. Since teachers continue to work without a contract, we have decided to ask teachers not to attend open houses.

This decision was not an easy one. The teacher representatives from our New Albany-Floyd County Education Association Crisis Committee, made up of teachers from across the system, made the decision.

Teachers have been working without a contract since Jan. 1, 2008. They have had no pay raise since August of 2006.

We will not take educational services away from children, however, we did decide to curtail some of the many extra services we normally provide with no additional pay. Practically speaking, not attending open houses is more work for many teachers. They spent many hours making their rooms ready for parents who would visit, making sure there were displays that are instructional and interesting.

Teachers did not enter this profession to make their first million, however, they also didn’t enter the profession to have to protest, rally, and demonstrate to get the respect of their employers.

Teachers are not asking for outrageous gains! We’ve asked for just above the state average on salary for 2007-2008 (already gone by), the same for 2008-2009, and the state average for 2009-2010. We’ve asked that elementary teachers finally get the same planning time as secondary teachers have had for over 25 years.

We see the School Board find the money ($320,000) to buy and tear down three houses for parking lot space. Teachers just want them to find the money for a fair contract settlement.

At our last negotiations meeting, the administration spent three hours making a proposal that would increase their salary offer by one tenth of one percent. We’ve been at the bargaining table listening to this since October of 2007.

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