AUSTIN, Texas — "We are worth! We are worth," chanted a small group of Austin Independent School District employees made up of teachers, bus drivers and others who gathered in front of Travis High School Tuesday afternoon.
Education Austin, the union that represents teachers and other AISD employees, held a press conference to announce that it is asking the AISD for a 10% across-the-board pay raise for its members.
Education Austin President Ken Zarifis said the group broke off talks with the district late last week. He said the one to two percent AISD was negotiating just for teachers wasn't enough.
Zarifis said they are fed up with not getting paid.
Others who were there said the cost of living is going up, but teachers, janitors, bus drivers and librarians can no longer afford to live in the district they work in.
"In the 20 years I've been here working in this district, AISD leadership has said we would love to pay employees, we would love to pay teachers what they deserve, they do so much work, but we can't, we can't because the legislature is killing us, we can't because of Robin Hood, we can't because the legislature holds all of our money. Well, that day is different. It's now a new day. The legislature is not holding that money anymore, the legislature is working right now to find money for the entire State of Texas – and over $200 million of it is coming into AISD," said Zarifis.
Zarifis said they are planning a rally to in front of the AISD headquarters Monday at 6:30 p.m.