By: Leigh Hawkinson, AEA President

“If you aren't outraged, you aren't paying attention.” This was a statement I heard while listening to the mother of Heather Heyer, the young woman killed in Charlottesville. I couldn’t help but think that this could certainly be said here in Alvord these past months. To all of you, if you aren’t outraged, you aren’t paying attention to all of the negative words and actions by our School Board. This is NOT a time for turning your back and thinking that none of this affects you.  One School Board member is randomly and intentionally targeting teachers for Public Records requests in order to discredit and destroy the reputations of certain individuals. 

Does it not matter to you if it is your President, Bargaining Chair or Executive Board under attack?  Does it have to be an assault on you personally before you stand up and say “Enough is enough?” Doesn't “An injury to one is an injury to All” mean anything or is it not until it hits home directly?   Board members are talking about and acting upon the silence and passivity of AEA members.

Which brings me to our salary proposal.  The School Board seems to have the   attitude of “They make enough.” They are clearly taking the Barragan approach and attitude that we are greedy and should only make his quoted $45,000 a year.  Well, I ask, “Are our colleagues to the East and West greedy?” They make as much as $10,000 more per year than you do! Do they work harder?  Do they     deserve it more? Some of you seem to think that we make up that difference in benefits.  Not true!  We have given up over 26% in salary over 17 years to pay for our benefits.  They have never been “given” to us and our Benefits Committee works hard on a MONTHLY basis to maintain the plans. Other Associations have implemented monthly payroll deductions rather than working hard to maintain benefits for reasonable costs. Does this make us less worthy of a salary increase?

We need for all of you to attend the September 19th Board meeting to tell the Board “No” to these questions and say “yes” we deserve a raise.  We are planning to demonstrate at the 4:00 early hearing session to hopefully make it easier for all of you to attend.  Wear maroon or navy (AEA colors). Be outraged that the Board is disrespecting and diminishing us!