The battle intensifies over pay raises for South Bend teachers
SOUTH BEND, Ind. (WNDU) - Tension is growing as teachers with the South Bend Community School Corporation (SBCSC) demand promised pay raises.
On Tuesday, National Education Association (NEA) - South Bend hosted a community town hall to discuss a referendum promising $4.1 million dollars a year specifically for teacher pay increases.
The corporation said it has kept its promise - even exceeding it - and already spent $3.1 million on teacher raises.
The corporation claimed it fronted the money using cash reserves and paid themselves back with referendum money.
The Teachers Union, however, said this is not true.
“That’s false information. That is not what we were told last year at the table,” said Teacher and Bargaining Team Member Jessica Hoover.
“We were told that no referendum money was on the table for this year’s bargaining,” said President of NEA-South Bend Linda Lucy.
Those with the Teachers Union said the $3.1 million came from state funding.
They went on to say they were promised two pots of money: a basic tuition support coupled with referendum money.
Meantime, the corporation said it raised beginning teacher salaries to $41,000.
In its last offer with the union, they proposed raising the salary by another $1,800 plus a $500 stipend for first year teachers.
“We could not come back to our members with what they were offering on the table. The pots of money were not there... So, we had to make that decision to walk away. We are going to go to impasse, like you said, with the mediator, and we will see what we can get. We will work hard and get what we deserve,” said Hoover.
The corporation also said immediately following the passage of the referendum last year, every teacher in the corporation was given a $2,000 raise.
Teachers with six or more years of experience received $2,500.
“It’s not significant. There is not a pot of money available that will honor our people and value our people with the significant raises we were promised,” Lucy said
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