Surprise Victory for Dinuba Teachers

March 7, 2008 12:00:00 AM PST
Dozens of Dinuba teachers packed a school auditorium Thursday Night demanding money, they say they're owed.School district leaders claim there's no money, but there was late word of a reversal by the school board.

Teachers in Dinuba believe the school district has been holding out on them, denying teachers the pay increase other employees have received and they called for the resignation of the school superintendent.

Sign carrying teachers filed into the school board meeting to press their demands for more money. Many of the district's three hundred teachers feel cheated because other employee groups in the district received a 3.5% percent cost of living increase, while they got nothing. "And we're not asking for a raise, we wouldn't ask for a raise in these economic times, but the cost of living that is funded by the state," said teacher Myron Buller.

But School Superintendent Jerry Sessions said the state funding wasn't enough for all employees. He says the teachers were offered the same increase but turned it down, wanting more. Now he says the money's gone, but that the district is willing to talk. "I have to say the administration the board, feels like teachers are deserving a salary raise, it's how can we do it? What can we do?" asked Sessions.

But some teachers aren't buying it, and are demanding sessions step down. "We're asking for Jerry Sessions resignation from Dinuba public schools," said teacher Rich White.

After a heated debate, the school board voted to give the teachers the raise. "I would say huge, huge victory and it's a victory for the teachers, and the kids of Dinuba," said teacher Myron Buller.

The board approved a cost of living increase for the teachers of just under 4% percent. The increase is expected to take effect within a month.


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