Little Rock School District teachers seek solutions and better pay increase

    7:49 PM, Nov 13, 2013   |    comments
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    LITTLE ROCK, Ark. (KTHV) - Little Rock School teachers rejected a 1.5% pay increase from the district because they said it's not enough to meet steeper insurance costs.

    "You can't put employees last," said Cathy Koehler, the President of the Little Rock Education Association.

    Koehler says the proposed pay increase will not help moral for teachers.

    "Even with the 1.5 % increase it still does not keep pace with the increased cost in health care. It impacts teachers, but even greater the 40 percent of employees who are not certified who bring home 12, 13, 14-thousand dollars a year," said Koehler.

    Roughly 200 of the association members rejected the pay bump and also voiced concern over communication lines with the superintendent.

    "Right now the communication now is rather stagnant and one-sided," said Koehler.

    THV 11 reached out to Little Rock Superintendent, Dexter Suggs, for a response to the vote and he declined our request for an interview.

    School Board President, Greg Adams, says he's disappointed with the vote and hopes for a resolution soon.

    "We're in a new place. We have a new superintendent and we have some new board members and we're trying to do some new things. So there's a lot of new that's happening right now, so the fact that we're having to work out some kinks in communication; you know work together and know each other's styles and be able to learn each other well enough to trust intent that is not surprising," said Adams.

    Koehler said federal mediators will come to Little Rock in the next couple of weeks to try and help negotiate a solution between the union and the district.

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