Hundreds of Mishawaka Teachers Hold Protest

Mishawaka teachers are unhappy about working without a contract and tonight, they let the school board know it.

Tonight, hundreds of Mishawaka teachers turned out to picket before the school board meeting.

Teachers have been working without a contract for more than a year.

In its last offer, the board proposed freezing its contribution to health insurance premiums at the 2005 levels, while doubling the deductibles and out of pocket maximums.

The money saved by that would pay for a one percent bonus for those teachers at the top of the salary schedule for 2006, and one percent for all teachers for 2007.

The President of the Mishawaka Education Association says teachers are not responsible for managing the corporation's money.

Bruce Shannon, Mishawaka Education Association President says, "It is not the MEA's job to find money to support your budget, it's the administration’s responsibility to plan for the future while meeting the needs of today, you have directed them, you have authorized their spending, the teachers are not responsible for, nor are we consulted regarding you budget priorities, it's clear to us that teachers are not one of the priorities of this corporation."

"I think when money is very tight as it is now, you always have issues about how to best spend it and meet everyone's needs, literally it’s not possible to always do that, we try to keep the needs of the kids as primary focus," says Mishawaka superintendent, R. Steven Mills.

Shannon says no negotiation sessions have been scheduled in light of tonight's protest, but he says he thinks the administration got the message.

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