Teachers in two schools in New York City are taking various actions to protest over what they view as low pay and low morale, including saying no to parent-teacher interviews and other job duties.
Rye Brook Elementary and Harborfields East elementary schools in Nassau County will not conduct interviews for any teaching positions or transfer requests until they have ratified contracts. Approximately 350 teachers and other educators who work at the schools are part of the two-day walkout. Their contracts expired in September and were not reauthorized.
Teachers at the school say they were told they could get raises ranging from $700 to $2,000 annually if they don’t work the interviews.
Jennifer Smith, a fifth-grade teacher at Rye Brook Elementary School and president of the secondary teachers’ union, said that teachers make more than $50,000 a year without having to go through interviews.
“I don’t look forward to doing the interviews,” she said. “I hate them.”
Rye Brook principal Gabrielle Wrangham said the teachers are overreacting. The evaluations and interviews are voluntary, and teachers sign up, she said.
Teachers want a wage increase equal to one more percentage point of their salary, plus increase in term limits on the contract so that teachers with 10 years of experience have the option of continuing.