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Union member: Waterloo teachers deserve pay raise

The school district’s 162 teachers deserve to be fairly compensated for their work.

That’s the opinion of elementary school psychologist Jim Elkins in a statement read to the school board Monday.

Elkins said he is speaking for himself, not the officers of the Waterloo Education Association, its union members or the negotiating committee.

“The WEA contract with the district was voted down by the members last spring by over 85 percent vote opposed. I speak tonight to clarify things and in hope we can progress forward,” he said.

He told the board the reasons he felt the contract proposal was rejected.

“My experience over more than 20 years in the district is that Waterloo teachers are complacent and tend to go with the flow. So why would so many vote no on this contract? I don’t remember it happening before,” he said.

“We’ve had some tough economic times in the past ten years. Wage hikes were cut because the district had to pay more for rising health insurance costs. We have less buying power now than we did 20 years ago.”

He noted former Superintendent of Schools Terry MacNabb proposed a 1 to 2 percent salary increase for WEA members several years ago to avoid job cuts.

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