Teachers protest JCPS meeting on salary negotiations - WDRB 41 Louisville News

Teachers protest JCPS meeting on salary negotiations

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LOUISVILLE, Ky. (WDRB) -- The fight over freezing staff salaries had teachers working the picket line during their summer break Tuesday. 

It did not, however, look or sound like teachers who were supposed to be enjoying their summer break. 

All of the action was directed at what was taking place behind closed doors.

The Jefferson County Board of Education held a special meeting to discuss contract negotiation strategies.

"Can we just work something out for the benefit of the students? For the benefit of the teachers" asked Tracie Wright, a 2nd grade teacher at Blake Elementary. "We, as teachers, we give. We are giving what we are asking for every day, and some of us have done that for 30-plus years." 

"I always try and tell my kids, 'you got to stand up and do what is right, and if you want something, you got to go out and get it,' said Emilie Blanton from Southern High. "So I am out here for them too."

Aside from the protest, the teachers' association says it will file a lawsuit claiming JCPS Superintendent Donna Hargens is violating its agreement by not paying teachers step increases, which is basically an increase in a teacher's pay for each year they work for the district. 

"It's not how you build trust with the employees, it's not how you improve morale, it's not how you attract and keep good employees," JCTA president Brent McKim said. "We're hoping this will send a message to work with us and not against us." 

JCPS officials issued this statement on the union negotiations.

"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."

This is a tight window for negotiations. With school starting for JCPS on Aug. 10, teachers could be headed back to school with the salary talks still on-going. 

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