St. Louis teachers reject district proposal for pay increase

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ST. LOUIS, MO (KPLR)- Negotiations between St. Louis teachers and the school district began this week but the first attempt at a deal has stalled. Teachers say they're being asked to do more work without being sufficiently compensated.

The votes for this proposed teacher contract from the district were overwhelmingly harmonious. There was a resounding "no" from the majority of teachers and other school professionals. The president of the local teachers union told our partners at the St. Louis Post Dispatch they felt the offer was a "slap in the face."

The last raise St. Louis teachers received was in 2012-13 when pay increased by 2 percent. However, records show they have not advanced on the salary schedule since 2009. Now hundreds of teachers with multiple years of experience are being paid the same as someone straight out of college, which is $38,250 annually.

Although there's a salary schedule on its website, the district has stopped allowing staff to progress up steps in recent years. Teachers can either advance by earning higher degrees or waiting for an occasional salary increase.

The new proposal would have raised teacher pay twice in 2016. A 2 percent increase would be in place on January 1st and another 1 percent on July 1st.

According to correspondence between the district and union, it would have cost the district $10.4 million.

Since September of this year, teachers have spoken publicly about raising families on their salaries, despite possessing a master’s degree and several years of experience.

Some even work a second job.