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CCSD teachers sound off in anger over proposed wage freeze

Posted at 8:48 PM, Aug 02, 2017
and last updated 2017-08-03 09:54:02-04

Janice Kohler is the mom the of three children. Raising them with her husband isn't cheap. "Everything else goes up in price," said Kohler. Everything except her salary, that is.

Kohler, who teaches 9th-grade English at Liberty High School, was frustrated when she read an email from Clark County School District with news she didn't want to see. “They will probably be freezing teacher pay," Kohler said.

The district sent out a letter, earlier this week, telling teachers school officials are considering a pay freeze to help offset a $45-million-dollar budget gap.

Kohler said “None of us can afford the pay freeze."

The reason for the deficit? The district said they gave teachers a 2.5 percent cost-of-living raise last school year, adding up to $145-million dollars. That increase rolls into this year's budget. The district also said the state mandated a reorganization and is giving them less money.

Byran Brady teaches eighth-grade algebra. His girlfriend, Mary Gunnell, orchestra. "Unappreciated, frustrated and angry is how a lot of us feel over all this," Brady said. "It had been built into our contracts that we were supposed to receive step seniority increases every single year-and now they're reneging on that."

Teachers complain the district is trying to balance the budget on the backs of teachers. “The district is constantly placing this burden on us and it's expecting us to suck it up,” Brady said.Teachers said this would be at least the third time the district would have frozen their wages in recent years if the proposal is approved.

13 Action News asked the district if other employees’ wages would be frozen as well and when the district will make a  final decision. A spokesman said he would get back to us.