Broward teachers protest pay offer from school district

Broward County teachers packed a School Board meeting Tuesday, complete with signs and loud chants, to protest what they see as a lousy attempt by the district to boost pay.

The crowd got raucous even before the School Board convened to hear public speakers at 5 p.m. Tuesday. Security staff told hundreds to wait outside because there was no space for them in the boardroom or overflow room.

“Open the doors! Open the doors!” the teachers shouted.

They brought signs proclaiming, “Are you kidding me,” “It’s April, but you don’t fool us,” and “We deserve better.” One teacher even rang a cowbell while shouting, “Show us the money!”

The district is actually offering a 2 percent raise for this school year, but only retroactive to January, meaning teachers would receive no raise for the work they did during the fall semester.

About $93 million from a voter-approved referendum becomes available in July, so the district has proposed a 7 percent increase for the 2019-20 school year. However, union members say they haven’t been guaranteed that will be a recurring raise. The money lasts four years and would expire if not renewed by voters in 2022.

The union has proposed a 4 percent increase this year and a 9 percent increase with referendum funds for next school year.

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