Teachers upset after budget bill outlines pay raise less than half of what was asked

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GUILFORD COUNTY, N.C. — Several teachers across the state are upset at the proposed pay hike that is laid out in a budget proposal that is laying on Gov. Roy Cooper’s desk.

House and Senate Republicans introduced and passed the bill early this week.

Among what’s outlined in the bill, a raise for teachers just shy of 4 percent.

Teachers will see a pay increase of 3.9 percent, while other school employees will see a 2 percent increase. Both will be made over the next two years.

This is less than 8 percent that teachers across the state have asked the state for.

“It’s not enough,” is how Robbie Bean reacted to the news. He is a teacher at High Point Central High School and said many of his colleagues have had to find second jobs to pay the bills.

“That proposal really isn’t going to do very little to bring us back into the classroom for 100 percent of the time,” Bean said.

There is a chance, however, that their pay could increase to 4.4 percent.

Republicans believe the governor will veto their bill.

He and Republicans have gone back-and-forth over the expansion of Medicaid.

The current budget bill does not lay out any room for expanding Medicaid, so they believe Cooper will veto their bill.

Speaker of the House Republican Tim Moore told reporters on Thursday, “The governor is actually holding us hostage over a demand for Medicaid expansion that he knows we cannot afford.”

If he does veto the bill, Republicans ask for Democrats to override his veto. If that happens, then teacher’s pay will increase to 4.4 percent, while other school employees will see a 4 percent increase.

As of Thursday evening, Cooper has not made public if he will sign the bill or not.

In the meantime, teachers like Bean said they will stand their ground and accept nothing less than an 8 percent increase for all school employees.

“Teaching working conditions are student working conditions,” he said. “We love our kids and we love our families, we want what’s best for them. We know that these proposals that are being thrown out are not what’s best for us and it’s not what’s best for them.”

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