DC teachers speak out after yet another delayed paycheck from the city
WASHINGTON - DCPS teachers are speaking out after yet another delayed paycheck from the city.
To make matters worse, this all occurred during Teacher Appreciation Week.
D.C. area teachers were expecting a nice paycheck to hit their accounts next week. They were supposed to be paid for three years of raises they didn't receive while the union and the city stalled on negotiations.
Now that money is further delayed until June because of "administrative complications."
"This is an expensive city, one of the most expensive in the country. And teachers have weathered a lot over the last three years and the one way you can show that you love them, and you thank them is to stick to what you say you're gonna do and pay them," said Jacqueline Pogue Lyons with Washington Teachers Unions.
Lyons says teachers are particularly disappointed because they had to wait so long for this contract. It was signed in November after years of back and forth, and ratified in February. That's why the checks were supposed to be delivered next week before June 1.
Now, part of the money will be delivered next week with the remaining deposited in June. Lyons says delays make building trust with the city difficult, but she has to hope for the best.
In the meantime, the delay has real-life consequences for teachers with student loans, family expenses, and upcoming summer activities on the books.
"I am in graduate school, and I was going to pay part of my tuition with the retro-payment but of course it's due. The first payment is due June 1, so now I don't know how I'll be able to make that payment," said teacher Clare Berke.
The contract that took years to make expires in September. Then, the city and union will have to resume negotiations yet again. Lyons and Berke both emphasized it's important to reach an agreement sooner than last time to avoid this headache.