As teachers in the Bend-La Pine School District push for higher wages, a group of parents have found a way to support them.
A table was set up at The Grove in Northwest Crossing on Monday, using a postcard campaign to inform the community about the ongoing negotiations.
“Our main concern was just that we didn’t really know some of these negotiations were happening. We thought it was really important to spread the word and let as many people know that there was bargaining happening,” parent Heather Flagel said.
Some stopped by to sign postcards addressed to the school board and superintendent. The group’s goal was to have 2,500 postcards signed.
“You’re a teacher. You’re a parent. You’re a caregiver. You’re a social worker. On top of that sometimes you have kids who are coming to school without their needs met,” parent and substitute teacher Brianna Deaner said.
Raises come at a cost. The school district says the budget impact could effect health insurance or adding work days to the contract.
The two sides are far apart. The district is offering the Bend Education Association (BEA) a 4.5% cost of living adjustment increase in year one of a new contract and 3.5% increase in the second year.
The union has countered with a 12.2% increase in year one and a 10% increase in year two.
“One of our main worries is that our kids are still recovering from the COVID years and we really want them to have what they need in the classrooms and consistency in their learning. The teachers need their resources in order to provide that for our kids,” Flagel said.
The BEA says Bend-La Pine teachers have worked without a contract since the summer.