Teachers Hold Rally Over Stalled Salary Negotiations

By: Sharon Aron Baron

Broward County teachers took to the streets to protest a salary settlement that hasn’t been reached with the district yet.

Called the “More than Zero” rally and organized by the Broward Teachers Union, teachers stood on the side of University Drive and Commercial Boulevard in Tamarac waving signs that said “Broward Teachers are Worth More Than Zero” and “Ask for Little – Get Nothing.”

Brenda Emerson-Alford, Chief of Staff for BTU said they believe it’s time teachers are recognized for the value they play in the classroom.

“Right now the district isn’t willing to help enhance our compensation issue. So we’re stalled and we want to get everybody to realize it matters.”

Coral Springs resident and Deerfield Beach High School Teacher Janet Andrade said that the only way teachers would be able to get a salary increase was if they changed their school schedule and taught an extra period.

“Right now we get 50 minutes of planning each day. But if we would choose to give up a planning period – if we choose to go to the AB block schedule we could give up on our planning and teach all day long. We could get a raise.”

She said she has gone to the teacher talk meetings and they have tried to negotiate with Superintendent Runcie and the school board, however, they would not negotiate.

“I was actually at the negotiation, and we were making suggestions of what they could do, and the school board was saying ‘no.’

Emerson-Alford hopes it ends soon. “We have written to the district, and they are hoping in the next two weeks it will be resolved.”

The next More Than Zero rally will be on February 23, from 4:30 p.m – 6:30 p.m at the KC Wright Building at 600 SW 3rd Ave Fort Lauderdale FL.