Lee County teachers continue to push for higher pay

Reporter: Amy Galo Writer: Matias Abril
Published: Updated:

Teachers are using old-fashioned math to make their case for higher salaries as the Lee County school district tried to negotiate a new deal.

The county’s teachers tried to take their bosses to school at Tuesday night’s Lee County School Board meeting.

At the meeting, teacher Robert Daniels explained economics with a Coke bottle.

“I’d like to take you back to the year 2003-2004. At that time, the average teacher pay was $40,300 in Florida. Adjusted for inflation, that’s $68,100,” Daniels said.

To Daniels, this Coke bottle perfectly explains the teachers’ wage crisis.

“To put it in other terms, at prices at those times, a teacher could buy 23 of these with their hourly pay,” Daniels said.

Fast forward to 2023, Daniels said his hourly pay only buys him ten.

“I’m making right at your average, $51,500,” Daniels said.

Superintendent Christopher Bernier said the district is working on it.

“After listening at the last board meeting and listening again tonight, we decided to call an executive session with our board, and we asked them and us to heed the immediate call for action of our dedicated staff,” Bernier said.

The school board will have another meeting next Tuesday. The teachers’ union said both sides will meet again, and teachers will present a counteroffer.

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