Protesters show up over teacher salary negotiations

Protestors show up over teacher salary negotiations

LOUISVILLE, KY (WAVE) – School may be out, but about 100 protesters showed up outside VanHoose Education Center Tuesday while the Jefferson County Board of Education met inside to discuss their game plane for discussing salary negotiations.

By July 1, Jefferson County Public Schools and various employee unions were supposed to reach salary agreements. Eleven days later, an agreement has not been reached, leaving district employees frustrated.

One of the points not yet agreed upon by JCPS leaders is salary increases for teachers based on years of experience, or step increases.

According to teachers protesting, these step increases were agreed upon at the beginning of their contracts.

"We're not asking for a great deal. We just had this contract and we want it honored," said science teacher Laura Ecken. "Experience is important in a classroom to have more tricks in your back pocket, to help the kids learn better, to keep order."

Several teachers said it's disappointing to start the school year off with tension between teachers and the school administration but they're willing to fight for the rights they were promised.

"The moral is so low and this is not the way to build it up, be a little more transparent, more caring about your people and do the right thing," said retired teacher Linda Lucas.

"I have nieces that are going to school to be teachers also and I want it fair for them when they come out of college," said kindergarten teacher Karen King.

The Jefferson County Teachers Association is in the process of drafting a lawsuit because of the inaction from school leaders.

"Under Kentucky law teachers who work a year in a district are to be credited with a year of experience on the salary schedule its very straight forward this school district is just simply not doing that," said JCTA President Brent McKim.

JCPS spokeswoman Jennifer Brislin sent the following statement:

"JCPS is committed to fair and responsible union negotiations that recognize the dedication and expertise of our employees, while effectively managing the resources of our district."

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