Broward Teacher, Students Protest Cuts, No Raise

Shaneeva Yassin, Web Journalist & Producer

TAMARAC (CBS4)- Broward teachers and students joined together to hold a “respect” protest outside of the Broward Teacher’s Union building Thursday.

Teachers, along with the union, are asking for a little R-E-S-P-E-C-T. The protest began at 4:30 p.m. at the BTU headquarters at 6000 North University Drive in Tamarac.

Teachers said they are not getting the respect they deserve after budget cuts, no raises and further cuts to education.

During the protest, negotiations were going on in the building to lobby for a raise.

Some teachers who CBS4’s Joan Murray spoke with said they are thinking about leaving the profession.

“We almost just don’t want to do it anymore,” elementary school teacher Heather Thurston said. “You know it’s not worth what we have to do, which is unfortunate and really the children should come first. And I know that’s what they think they’re doing but if they really take a look at it and we all sit together and talk about it….it’s not the direction that it’s going in.”

Here’s what R-E-S-P-E-C-T means to the teachers:

Recognize teacher and student achievement
End district corruption and malfeasance
Stop political attacks on public employees
Protect everyone’s voice in the workplace
Encourage community involvement in our schools
Cut misspending of tax dollars and student funding
Tell local and state officials to show some respect


    Aretha Franklin Said it Best!!

    Please come to Broward & Miami-Dade?

    Lady Gaga has overtaken our Country…….

  • curtis

    DID SHE SAY ‘its (the cuts) not worth it, the kids come first”? Obviously if the kids are first than her free pension and health care must come at least in second.

    • kel

      I agree with Tigris and Josh!!!!
      CURTIS – NOTHING IS FREE!! Health care IS CERTAINLY NOT FREE!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! If I used the school board plan for health care I would be paying almost $900 a month for a CRAPPY HMO to cover my spouse (laid off teacher) and 2 kids. Every time I present my card, the doctors, pharmacists, etc. moan and roll their eyes. I’m sure what she meant by not worth it, is that most good teachers go into teaching for the love of educating and making a difference with our children. Good teachers don’t go into it for the money and summers are not perks! Summers stand for hundreds of UNPAID hours of WORK. When you spend THOUSANDS of dollars of your own money each year to supply students with books to read, paper, pencils, crayons, etc., and you donate the hundreds of UNPAID hours of your time because it is important to the students, it would be nice to be respected for it instead of being mistreated by the politicians of this state. You should try teaching sometime and then maybe you’ll see what we are talking about. Don’t depend on our so called “FREE PERKS,” until you have tried living in South Florida on a teacher salary.

  • Josh

    Curtis: If you performed the job that teachers do, you’d likely quit in a day. Name another profession in which the workers are asked to take a 5 percent pay cut (to pay the cost of a “free” pension), and then have the employer use that saved money to “make up” for the cuts that they’re making in the budget. That’s what the state wishes to do—cut up to $ 3 billion from the ed budget, and use the money they “save” by having teachers cough up the 5 percent to make up some of the difference. So teachers are essentially paying their (partial) own salary as a result. We put our kids first. It’s about respecting the people who DO put the kids first, but who are not willing to be sold down the river because ideologues want to privatize the ed system.

    • DownWIthUnions

      We need more Charter Schools where teachers are not unionized, End Tenures and Fire Lousy teachers.

  • Tigris

    Teaching, which has always been known as a low paid profession, will most likely be the least appealing one for young adults pursuing a career now that Republicans have made education the target for cuts. I hope ALL teachers decide to just quit en masse and teach these politicians and deadbeat parents who are mostly to blame for childrens’ bad grades a lesson.

  • ScottWillSaveUs

    Funny didin’t even know we had teachers in Florida. Oh right!! Fla is at the bottom of the States in education. I guess I will be moving to Mass, Vermont or New Hamphire (NOT!!)

  • EndUnions

    I do not see the end tenures, fire lousy teachers and eliminate the teacher’s union contributing to political parties as part of RESPECT. If they want respect then they have to give respect to us too. We live in Fla which is #47 out of 50 in education. The other bottom 3 are Texas, California and Arizona.
    What do they have in common? Sun and Hispanics (BTW I am Latin).

    We live here for the weather and not education.

    You want good education move to Mass, Vermont or New Hampshire (NOT!!) or go and home school your kids.

    Or just wait for our Governor Rick Scott to get rid of all these crapppy teachers which is why we got him elected.

  • Carlo

    You get what you pay for.

    Pay qualified teachers more.

    Send “school administrators” out the door.

  • FredS

    C’mon, can we get real. First, teachers only work 10 months of the year, not 12 like everyone else. They get probably twice the paid holidays of regular workers. And their workday typically ends about 2:30 in the afternoon (yeah, I know, then they go home and grade papers ’til midnight). Factor all that in, with free pensions and health, and their salaries are actually well above average on an hourly basis.

    Thus, a teacher who can’t make ends meet and needs a raise to “survive” is simply spending too much. Not my problem.

    I haven’t had a pension increase in three years (which I paid more than 5% into for 30 years) or a Social Security increase in two years, but I should fund salary increases for teachers? Get out of that academic cloud you live in.

    This is all UNION driven and simply extortion of taxpayers. It is NOT about fairness, the good of the student, save the middle class, etc. This solely about saving the UNION and its extortion power.

    And for those of you threatening to “leave the profession”, just what job do you think you can get that will pay you anywhere near the salary and benefits you are getting? And are you really ready to go back to a 40+ hour work week/12 month work year observing a handful of Federal holidays, and under constant workplace supervision? Not likely.

    I value the all the teachers who helped me succeed. I also know in my heart they would not be amongst the UNION whiners I see on the streetcorners, much less coercing their students (whoops their own and UNION leaders kids) to participate. They were too proud and professional for that.

    • BrittanyK

      Perhaps you, Fred, are living with your head in a different cloud. I am a teacher, and I have never, in my career, left school at 2:30 in the afternoon. That is a fallacy perpetuated by people who see teachers as a bunch of underachieving slackers. I work a full 8 hour day, 5 days a week, just like everybody else. It’s just that my day STARTS earlier, so it also ends earlier. Then, of course, I DO go home, and grade and plan for at least 2 more hours. I am the butt of jokes and attacks by politicians (for whom I did not vote), and I am disrespected at every turn by people who feel that they have a REAL job. I am a professional person, and I love my job – because of the kids. I put up with all the B.S. the comes with this industry because I am GOOD at what I do and your children (future tax payers and voting citizens) gain the benefits from that experience and dedication to my jov. All teachers want is a little respect. We don’t necessarily want more – we just don’t want to have money taken away from us. And as for other jobs that we can do, everyone in my family and cirlce of friends makes MUCH more money than I do – and not one of them has a degree, or is in such a position to affect the future of this country. And finally, I would like to address having 2 months off every year. Putting aside all of the professional conduct, and mounds and mounds of paperwork and meetings with school psychiatrists, administrators, and county officials that are so much a part of our day – think about locking yourself in a room with 25 children for seven hours, everyday. Don’t even worry about trying to teach them all they need to know (to pass a once a year test), keeping them quiets, dealing with their emotional issues (deaths in the family, changing of their medications, having parents that don’t bathe or feed them everyday…), or listening to verbal attacks from their parents because you gave them a D on an assignment. Just think about that room full of kids. If you didn’t have some time off, you’d end up in a mental institutiion after the first 2 years. Just sayin’…

    • South Dade Teacher

      Teachers here in Dade get off at 3:25 every day. Most of us stay at school to plan, grade, do parent conferences, tutor for free, and do extracurricular activities…..Not to mention all the work I have to take home as well. Yes there are bad teachers out there, but there are tons of bad parents. Teaching down here is a high stress job. You see some of the scum we have to deal with here on the news. Untill you walk a mile in our shoes, you will never know. BTW, since I have started, the quality of our “free” health insurance has gone down. Like dental in a year or two it will be gone. I love my job, but considering teachers in other states ( Mass., Conn., NC, ETC…)are making double my pay, I’m sick of people saying South Florida teachers have it made! I may work 10 months out of the year, but $38,000 before taxes is hardly living large!

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