Indiana Teachers Association Calls for More Bargaining Power – WISH-TV | Indianapolis News | Indiana weather

INDIANAPOLIS (WISH) – The Indiana State Teachers Association (ISTA) called for more bargaining power for Hoosier teachers, including over things like salary increases, class sizes and program preparation time.

“We are seeing an increase in the number of teachers suffering from depression, anxiety, sleep disturbances and work-life imbalance,” said Jenny Whitaker, teacher at Warren Central High School.

At the ISTA press conference, teachers highlighted their concerns about managing the growing workloads resulting from the pandemic and staff shortages.

“We have teachers who work 12 hours a day or more in addition to a second and sometimes even a third job,” ISTA President Keith Gambill said.

Gambill pointed out that 97% of schools in Indiana report teacher shortages, according to a recent Indiana University study.

ISTA says one way to help solve the problem is to increase teachers’ salaries. The group calls on political leaders to demand that teachers’ salaries start at $ 40,000.

For places like Pike Township, they say they already do. But currently, no agreement has been reached between the district and ISTA on salary increases.

“Someone who just got hired gets paid $ 1,000 less than me, so I earn $ 41 more than a first-grade teacher and I’ve been there for 12 years,” says Brad Leatherman, a teacher. by Pike PE.

In a statement to I-Team 8, the district said, “We are currently awaiting information from the Indiana Employment Education Relations Board (IERB).”

ISTA said the number of districts meeting the target of $ 40,000 for beginning teachers rose from 79 to 212 on Friday.

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