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'We are worth it': AISD employees rally, chant for pay raise before district meeting

"We will continue to push back."

AUSTIN, Texas — You could hear many different chants outside AISD headquarters on Monday night, as the core part of those messages continued inside during the AISD board meeting.

Teachers, bus drivers and other staff members told their leaders they were worth a pay increase that the district hasn't committed to giving.

Education Austin is the union that represents teachers and other AISD employees. This organization's leaders are asking the district for a 10% across-the-board pay raise for all employees.

A couple weeks ago, the union broke off negotiation conversations after the district's leaders proposed a 1% to 2% raise for only teachers.

This comes after Round Rock ISD recently approved a 3.5% pay raise for employees for the 2019-2020 school year.

Monday night, the message from employees was clear.

"Let's make sure the teachers, the staff and everyone involved is paid a wage that allows them to stay within the district," AISD teacher Eric Ramos said. "We are losing a lot of teachers because of pay."

"I have to tutor Saturday and Sunday to pay for my insurance so I can keep the creditors off my back," AISD teacher Teresa Razo said. "I can no longer afford my living wage."

"Until you realize that we are worth it, we will continue to push back," AISD teacher Kent Coupe said.

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RELATED: Round Rock ISD approves 3.5% pay raise for employees

Another major topic of discussion revolved around the upcoming school consolidation and school closures that will be happening in the 2020-2021 school year. District leaders say certain campuses are no longer fit to stay open while many parents want the district to make sure students in lower-income areas are not left behind compared to students in more affluent parts of the city.

Monday night, board members discussed some of the criteria to help this consolidation process get started. Parents and students won't find out which schools are on the list for closures until August. A final decision on what ultimately stays open or not is expected in October.


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