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RPS Teachers March for Contract Negotiations

March 06, 2018 11:26 PM

(ABC 6 News) – Minutes before the Rochester School Board meeting on Tuesday, more than 300 people marched around the Edison Building in Rochester to show solidarity.

This comes as contract negotiations enter their seventh month between teachers and the Rochester school district.

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"Our contract needs to be settled as soon as possible," Willow Creek teacher Kelly Wright-Glynn said.

"Our team has been negotiating since September,” Rochester Education Association (REA) President Dan Kuhlman said. “We were done with our contract at the end of June."

For several months, the REA has been vying for things such as wages and benefits, student mental health and other classroom protections.

The frustration was seen as marchers held signs referencing the school board's recent decision to extend Rochester Superintendent Michael Muñoz’s contract and increase his salary.

“The board is the one who made the contract with our superintendent, which is great,” Kuhlman said. “I think where [teachers] frustrated is they want to have theirs done."

"A couple of dozen students also came out to show support for their teachers."

"They're a direct impact on our education," high school student Lisa Alexander said.  

This group of high schoolers said their teachers should receive paychecks that reflect their hard work.

"Teachers are supposed to groom us to be these well-informed people in society," high school student Foney Marcellino said.

"When you are taking away from those jobs and taking away from those teachers then you really can't have a stronger generation to count on," high school student Youser Yousif said.  

While there isn't any talk of a strike, teachers and those marching hope that the message is clear.

"We want to create that environment that's good for everyone to learn, and a good environment that would enable me to teach," Wright-Glynn said.

ABC 6 News did reach out to the school district for a comment but we have not heard back. More negotiations are scheduled to take place in March.

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Elise Romas

Copyright 2018 - KAAL-TV, LLC A Hubbard Broadcasting Company

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