Austin teachers union rallies for pay increase at AISD headquarters
AUSTIN, Texas - Educators and support staff gathered together in front of Austin ISD headquarters building April 27 to rally with Education Austin, the Austin teachers' union, as part of the "Know Your Worth" campaign.
"It's really hard to make a living in Austin for a lot of our families and also the people who get our students to school and through school," said English teacher Rodrigo Rodriguez.
"I did take a pay cut to work for AISD. And there are a lot of other benefits, but the pay is definitely something that we're all very concerned about," said fifth grade teacher Taylor Cavin. "We're hemorrhaging teachers. Because of the pay."
Union members are asking for a 12 percent pay increase for all staff members in AISD.
During the Thursday night meeting, there was a discussion about the consultation proposal Education Austin and AISD have agreed on: $4 flat increase for all classified hourly employees, and 7% increase for certified employees such as teachers, librarians, counselors, and instructional coaches.
"We've been hearing these workers behind me raising the alarm year after year after year about being underpaid, about being overworked, about terrible working conditions," said Jason Lopez, president of the Austin Central Labor Council.
In 2022, AISD voted to adopt a nearly 1.9 billion budget.
The budget included some administrative position cuts and raises for bus drivers, librarians, custodians and teachers.
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When FOX 7 asked Ken Zarafis, president of Education Austin, on if he believes AISD will approve a 12 percent increase after they approved an 8 percent increase last year, he was optimistic.
"I think it's important that we pay our people the way they should be paid," Zarafis said. "I think we have to be aspirational in our eyes. We have to think really big so that in the long term we'll see that. I think we'll get a substantial part of that this time around."
They hope to bring it to a vote in May.