Union asking teachers to work only contracted hours on Monday

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WICHITA, Kan. (KSNW) – The United Teachers of Wichita is urging teachers to only work their contracted hours next Monday, September 26th.

This comes as the union and USD 259 continues to be at an impasse over contract negotiations.

The contract talks are stalled, in part, over what the union calls a small increase requested for experienced teachers.

UTW has broken down the contract day into three categories.

These include arrival time, lunch time, and departure time.

That means teachers would arrive 10 minutes before school starts, have a 40 minute duty free lunch and leave 10 minutes after the school day is over.

Union President Steve Wentz says something has to be done with the workload teachers are having to take on.

“Listen, we’ve got teachers putting in, particularly in the elementary, 10, 12, 13 hour days,” said Wentz.

Wentz is hopeful this will show just how hard teachers in the district have to work on a daily basis.

“This is in no way to punish the kids or the parents or anything. It’s just to illustrate a small piece of what kids do, or what teachers do for kids above and beyond what they have to do,” said Wentz.

USD 259 Board President Sheril Logan says it’s the teachers choice if they choose to work more than the hours stated in their contract.

She says many teachers voluntarily choose to work more hours.

Logan says the district is looking into the issue of teachers’ workload.

“There’s a workload committee working right now to evaluate, are there things we can take off of teachers plates, because we recognize teaching is not easy,” said Logan.

Logan says when it comes to money, the district has given teachers everything they can.

She says they will continue to try and come to an agreement on a contract with the union.

“We are working as hard as we can to get the best contract we can for our teachers,” said Logan.

When it comes to lunch, recess and after school programs, they won’t be affected.

The teachers who supervise those activities have separate contracts and must abide by those rules.

Wentz says the union is also asking teachers to be in the parking lot outside of north high before Monday’s board meeting, to have their voices heard.

 

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