School board members in Prince George's County want to restore pay to teachers who missed out on their pay bumps.
A group of board members is speaking publicly, saying they’re confident this year the board will make it a reality.
“We need to make sure we are paying them what they deserve,” said board member Belinda Queen. “We need to give them the steps that are owed.”
Prince George’s County Educator’s Association, the union representing teachers, says about 6,000 teachers are behind on their pay scale steps. The union has been fighting for years to get salaries restored to where they should be.
“This is about for fulfilling a promise that was made to our educators, school leaders and support staff to pay them,” said board member Raaheela Ahmed.
A block of board members including Ahmed, Queen, David Murray and board vice-chair Edward Burroughs have written a public letter calling for teacher steps to be restored. They believe there’s enough money in the budget to get it done.
Tensions reached a breaking point earlier this week with PGCEA declaring Wednesday "Teacher Unappreciation Day,” the day after national teacher appreciation day.
Educators posted photos on social media and rallied before and after school.
"On Teacher Unappreciation Day, I saw a lot of my own teachers post photos talking about them working two or three jobs just to make ends meet, and so that was a reality check for me,” said Burroughs.
Board chairman Alvin Thornton said Sunday that he's convinced progress will be made restoring some lost compensation for employees.