A group of teachers in the North Clackamas School District took the initiative Thursday, amid losing their jobs because of budget cuts, by gathering signatures
in an effort to have their voices heard by their union.
The teachers, who gathered outside their union office, said they want a response from the union and put their demands in writing in the form of a petition.
Those speaking out said it shouldn't have reached this point, and they would have
accepted the district's offer, favoring a wage freeze to save jobs.
“We took a poll in the spring and they got our opinion and the majority said wage freeze,” said Monica Whiteley, who was laid off. “So I would like them to look at the poll or honor it and have us look at the memo of understanding that is out there.”
They said they feel the union hasn't been listening or communicating.
“I have felt like my voice has not been heard. I wasn’t asked was I OK with losing my job,” said Jenny Klassen, another laid off teacher.
Teachers said the cuts could mean 45 kids in some classrooms, which could mean squeezing in an additional 17 desks into a classroom.
And the response from the teachers' union?
Union leaders said they had no choice. They have to do what is best for the students and all of their membership, they said.
Somehow a pay freeze and having more teachers, rather than 45 in the classroom, seems better for the kids than laying off good teachers.