SARASOTA, Fla. — Sarasota County’s teachers will join together Tuesday night to speak out publicly in support of better pay for teachers.
The rally is expected to draw hundreds of teachers and is coordinated by the Sarasota Classified/Teachers Association (SC/TA), which represents thousands of Sarasota County teachers and staff members, and promotes the professional well-being of all public school employees.
At issue is compensation for more experienced teachers. That topic ended negotiations between association and district officials, who were unable to find a settlement during negotiations in mid-December. The two sides return to negotiations on Friday.
“I’m sorry we couldn’t have better news for you,” wrote Barry Dubin, executive director of the SC/TA, in encouraging teachers to join the rally. “The struggle continues.”
Teachers are planning to arrive at 5:15 p.m. Tuesday at the school district headquarters. Teachers are expected to bring signs expressing their feelings about adequate compensation for more experienced teachers.
Several of the teachers are also planning on attending the 6:30 p.m. School Board meeting. Several have prepared statements to read.
“We're hearing that our superintendent and School Board members don't believe anyone will show up to rally," says Pat Gardner, president of the SC/TA. "We're also hearing that at least one school board member believes our superintendent will 'win.'
"This rally isn't about 'winning.' It's about taking care of the thousands of employees who work hard to educate Sarasota County’s children... Teachers and staff deserve not only a decent raise, but also respect for the hard work they do in our schools every day."