Hundreds of teachers protest for better pay in North County

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ESCONDIDO, Calif. — Hundreds of teachers in Escondido are banding together demanding better pay, among other things.

At Thursday night’s Escondido Union School District board meeting teachers flooded in to make sure their voices are being heard. Educators, parents and students packed the boardroom, which quickly filled to capacity, but officials did not turn people away. Everyone stuck around, packing the halls and sidewalk outside.

Brandi Krepps, a teacher and the Second Vice President of the Escondido Elementary Educators Association, said teachers are pushing for better pay and benefits. “We’re asking for a cost of living increase that other districts are receiving. We are asking for our benefits to be raised a bit so we can keep up without having to take a paycut,” Krepps told FOX 5.

They are also asking for more support staff. “We are lacking dozens of special ed aids that we need for our special education classrooms. That is one of the programs that teachers are asking for,” Krepps said.

District officials told FOX 5 negotiations have been cordial and positive and they are confident they are making progress. They said they encourage employees to have a voice and said they are listening and working toward a fair resolution.

“I just want the district to understand we’re not going away. We’re not going to stop this. We’re going to continue to fight until the parents of this community are heard. Until teachers are respected. We are going to keep fighting,” Krepps said.

School officials and union representatives are expected to go back to the discussion table next Friday.

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