Teachers rally, demand pay increase in NC

North Carolina news

RALEIGH, N.C. (WNCN) – Teachers across North Carolina are calling on lawmakers to meet their demands after the governor vetoed a plan giving educators a slight raise — saying lawmakers can do better.

Teachers, accompanied by several students, were chanting and walking with signs in hand Wednesday morning.

Educators and parents in Wake County are demanding lawmakers put education first as well.

 A call for legislators to pass a budget from voices big and small.

They say the demands are simple – pass a budget that can support higher wages for teachers and staff, Medicare for all, and benefits for retired teachers.

“Do your job. Fund education at the level it deserves,” said Collette Meador, Parent Teacher Association president at Durant Road Elementary.

Last week, Gov. Roy Cooper vetoed the initial proposal giving teachers a four percent raise over two years, saying the state could do better.

Educators at Forest View Elementary agree, saying that plan didn’t put students first.

“It’s sending a very strong message that they really do not value our children our education. They’re giving this million dollar tax break to corporations and that same money that they’re giving away basically to multi-billion dollar corporations they won’t give to our children,” said Michelle Burton, president of the Durham Association of Educators.

Collette Meador says the current state of education is putting teachers between a rock and a hard place by forcing them to find other sources of income to make ends meet.

“We see teachers working second jobs. A big thing too is teachers using their own pay to support classroom initiatives,” said Meador.

And the work doesn’t necessarily stop when the bell rings.

“They go home they do their lesson plans there is so much more to it and they don’t just take summers off or go on breaks they are working throughout the year,” said Meador.

North Carolina Republican Party spokesman Jeff Hauser released the following statement following governor cooper veto:

“This is the third straight year Governor Cooper has said ‘no’ to teacher pay raises passed by the North Carolina general assembly. Fortunately, despite his refusal to sign off on these important pay raises, teacher pay has risen 18 spots and ranks in the top half of the country when adjusted for cost of living thanks to NCGA efforts. Similarly, Governor Cooper has vetoed tax cuts for all businesses while taking credit for the corporate tax environment he has opposed. We need leadership from the governor’s mansion to match the leadership shown by the General Assembly for North Carolina to continue to move forward.”

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