Hillsborough County School teachers met on Wednesday night to air their frustrations over lack of pay raises.
More than 50 teachers from various elementary, middle and high schools in the county met to discuss reaching out to district leaders to tell them they deserve better. They also encourage parents to write to district leaders including school board members and state teachers deserve more.
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"We want all teachers' voices to be heard. It's time. Teachers are fed up with not being respected as professionals," said Barbara Chrimes, a Mitchell Elementary School teacher.
The teacher's union says the district promised raises, but now they're offering teachers nothing.
A district spokesperson said in an email:
"Our district has given our employees more than $200 million in pay and benefits over the past four years, despite a district financial picture that was not promising."
The district went on to say:
"The average pay for a Hillsborough County teacher is now the second-highest in the Tampa Bay Area and the 8th highest in the state of Florida."
Some teachers say they work 60 plus hours a week off the clock.
"My children would not benefit if i just worked 7:40 a.m. to 3:40 p.m. every single day. I care too much about them," said Theresa Cannella, a math teacher at Mitchell Elementary School.
Others say they refuse to work any additional hours beyond their contract.
The Hillsborough Classroom Teachers Association said if the district doesn't budge, a mediator or third party will be brought in to help negotiate.
"We just want what was promised or what we expected. That's our goal," said teacher Kathy Hill.