Local teachers picket for pay | SierraSun.com

Local teachers picket for pay

Christine Stanley
Sierra Sun
Ryan Salm/Sierra SunKurt Smart, Social Science teacher at Truckee High School stands picketing with many other teachers from the Tahoe Truckee Unified School District on Thursday. Teachers from the TTUSD have been unhappy about their contracts for some time and are hoping for pay raises.
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Dozens of teachers from the Tahoe Truckee Unified School District picketed in Truckee on Thursday afternoon to express concerns about their contracts ” or lack thereof.

Contract negotiations between teacher and district representatives from the 2006-07 academic year began in April. After three separate meetings, the two groups have been unable to come to an agreement and the teachers are now entering their fifth month without contracts.

“Any single parent is better of on welfare than working for this district,” said Trisha Padden, an English teacher at Tahoe Truckee High School. “I had to get a second job. Most new teachers, and any single parent, needs a second job. I never see my kids.”

Teachers originally came to the table asking for a 7.5 percent cost of living adjustment, which the district agreed to match, so long as teachers were able to accept a number of contingencies, including an extra 15 minutes of time teaching each day, said Erika Murphy, former president of the Tahoe Truckee Education Association.

School board member Bev Ducey said the district’s efforts are focused on increasing instructional time to help close the academic achievement gap between native English speakers and English learners and to increase test scores.

The school district and the teachers association are scheduled to give negotiations another go on Monday when they meet again with a state mediator.