More than 500 teachers packed into Fresno High School’s auditorium Wednesday to show support for the Fresno Teachers Association at the Fresno Unified School District Board of Trustees meeting.
Board of Trustees President Luis Chavez rearranged the agenda to allow the teachers to have their say much earlier than scheduled.
“I’m sure that you would like to get home to your families,” Chavez said.
Tish Rice, president of the FTA, spoke for only one minute of the four she’d been allotted.
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Hundreds stood in silence to support Rice as she spoke.
“We came here tonight with a simple message to deliver to you trustees. We’ve been bargaining since May 2015 and have had 15 sessions with the district,” Rice said. “It’s time. Please use your power as a trustee to settle negotiations with the Fresno Teachers Association.”
The teachers applauded Rice when she finished, and Chavez gave them all a moment to leave the auditorium if they chose but also invited them to stay for the remainder of the board meeting.
Fresno Unified has offered a total of 7 percent in salary increases for teachers, but the FTA is calling for a slightly higher raise, smaller class sizes and more school support staff such as full-time nurses and social workers.