Escambia County, Fla. (WKRG) — Faculty spoke out at Tuesday night’s Escambia County Public School board meeting to voice their concerns over pay, and working conditions.
“It’s sad that I spend all day taking care of other people’s children, and I can’t even afford childcare for my own daughter,” said Dorie Nickerson, Escambia County Public School employee.
Escambia County Public Schools released a statement saying, “Negotiations with teachers are ongoing. We hope to reach an agreement soon. It would be inappropriate for us to comment on the specifics of ongoing negotiations.”
Without any changes, the Escambia Education Association, a teachers union, worries the district will continue to see staffing shortages.
“When we get called to hold interviews, there’s typically one applicant. And sometimes the applicants don’t even come to the interview,” said Darzell Warren President of Escambia Education Association.
With current pay, teachers and staff are sometimes forced to work multiple jobs to stay afloat.
“They want to be compensated at a rate where they can do one job and go home. You’re more effective that way and you have a better attitude when you do come to work,” said Nicole Lindsey President of Union of Escambia Education Staff Professionals.
“We have to keep students at the forefront but we cannot do that when we are constantly worrying about the day-to-day life and the things that are going on. They should not be worrying about being hungry, how am I going to pay my rent, my mortgage, your mind is on other things when it needs to be on your job,” said Lindsey.
Employees want the administration to see the real struggle teachers and teaching support face in the classroom.
“Do those jobs that you’re wanting your employees to do and understand how hard it is to do it, and really appreciate what they’re doing,” said Warren.
Both parties agreed to continue negotiating.