S. Indiana teachers rally for new contract at school board meeti - WDRB 41 Louisville News

S. Indiana teachers rally for new contract at school board meeting

One of the school board negotiators in a teachers' contract dispute says it's time to try something new.

That admission comes as hundreds of noisy teachers put pressure on the board to reach an agreement.  More than 200 teachers wanted to insure the school board saw and heard them Monday night.

The orange t-shirts and the cheers make the scene resemble a pep rally.  But none of the New Albany-Floyd County teachers are celebrating anything.

Teachers have worked without a new contract since last December.  Each side has made little progress in as many as 90 hours of negotiations despite a mediator's help.

Teachers' later file into the school board meeting.  Board members listen.  Doug Taylor, Teachers' Union president says, "We have leaders who want exceptional teachers and exceptional test scores but want only what's average for teacher salaries."

The two percent offer comes from the school board for the first year of a contract.  It initially offered zero.  Teachers counter with a three and a half percent raise.

The school district has said little about progress of the contract talks until now.  Several citizens said they're tired of the animosity shown in current and past contract talks.

The district has about 750 teachers.  Many of them have stopped volunteering their time for after-school and other extra-curricular activities in protest.  Both sides resume talks on Friday.

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