The West Chester Education Association held a rally in front of the district’s administration building before Monday night’s school board meeting.
“We didn’t get in this for the money,” said teachers’ association president Deb Fell in front of a crowd of district teachers. “All we want is a fair wage.”
The education association is in negotiations with the school board for a new teachers’ contract.
The teachers have been working without a contract since June 30, and last year, the union agreed to freeze its wages saving the district $2.6 million.
“When we submitted our first proposal, the union and the board were separated by $25 million,” Fell said. “We’ve moved back $19 million since then. The board still refuses to budge. It’s time for the board to negotiate and not dictate.”
The two sides have another negotiation session scheduled for October 10.
At the board meeting, school board president Vince Murphy said that the district’s current proposal would have district teachers earn an additional $2,500 in take home pay.
“For many teachers this proposal yields significantly more dollars than the association’s proposal,” Murphy said. “To reject it out of hand in the newspaper and not at the bargaining table is a complete dereliction of the collective bargaining process.”
“Money is not our motivation,” said teacher Chris Bruno who is also on the negotiation team. “This is a time where we need to stand together. Right now education comes first.