Jackson Co. teachers continue push for pay raise - WLOX.com - The News for South Mississippi

Jackson Co. teachers continue push for pay raise

Teachers say they signed a contract that left the salary amount blank. (Photo source: WLOX) Teachers say they signed a contract that left the salary amount blank. (Photo source: WLOX)
JACKSON COUNTY, MS (WLOX) -

Teachers in the Jackson County School District want to know if they're getting the pay raise they were promised.

On Sunday, teachers met with parents at the East Central Community Center calling for answers from the school board. Teacher Kristal Sisson says Superintendent Dr. Barry Amacker told the teachers he was working on a raise for them. 

"When we received our original contracts at the end of last school year, we were asked to sign them," Sisson said. "There was a blank amount as far as the salary went. There was no salary listed, but we all signed our contracts because we needed to hold and retain our positions as teachers."

The teachers were later handed a piece of paper that stated their actual salaries.

"That was when we realized that the board has not approved our raise," she said. "The money is there in the budget and what we're asking the board to do is to go ahead and extend that raise to our staff as Dr. Amacker proposed."

Among the parents at Sunday's meeting was State Senator Michael Watson.

"Our teachers do a great job here at East Central," Watson said. "One of the reasons why East Central is one of the top-rated schools in the state is because of our teachers. We're recognizing the benefits and the strengths of our teachers, I think it's time for the district to do the same."

Watson has spoken to one of the board members and believes some miscommunication may have occurred.

"I was basically told, 'Look, we were never told a specific amount.' Which was interesting, the disconnect there, the teachers are being told there," Watson said. They were told the board was aware, but maybe the board wasn't completely aware. So that's where it comes in, who said what, and where, when, how."

The teachers plan to attend Monday's school board meeting in hopes of preventing a vote for a smaller raise than Dr. Amacker proposed.

"We don't want them to vote at all tomorrow," said Sisson. "We want them to wait and to give us the chance to come back and speak to them, and we would like to get the original raise that Dr. Amacker proposed."

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