EVANSVILLE, In. (WEHT) – Some teachers protested before tonight’s Evansville-Vanderburgh School Corporation board meeting. Officials say the protests stem from bargaining sessions between the EVSC and the Evansville Teachers Association.
EVSC representatives say four bargaining sessions were held, which left only two unresolved issues. One of those issues was second-year pay for teachers. Protesters allege that a school official told teachers to “get over it” in regards to salary. When pressed for comment, the EVSC superintendent wished to clarify the circumstances surrounding the claim.
“I reviewed the transcript of all of our negotiating sessions and there was, on October 2, a comment that was made. When you look at your salary, that’s one thing, but when you start comparing it to somebody else, and oftentimes that’s where you have a concern,” says EVSC superintendent Dr. Dave Smith. “So the phrase that was stated was ‘I understand that, and I did that too…and we really need to get past that. We do need to get past that.’ There was nothing said that said ‘get over it.’ I think that that is disrespectful; I never want to be disrespectful to our teachers.”
The ETA would not talk specifically about their salary concerns, but association President Lori Young did say that they are making progress on the second unresolved issue. “I do actually think this is a positive experience, because we are only on two sticking points. And as Dr. Smith even referred, I think that we have come to an agreement on the President’s leave, however I do need to review that with my entire bargaining team.”
Another talking point at tonight’s board meeting was the upcoming solar eclipse on April 8. Officials say that given the possible traffic issues at the normal time of dismissal, EVSC students will instead have the day of the eclipse off and will make the day up on April 19.