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Teachers Forced to Return to Work Amid Labor Disputes

The union claims the St. Louis Public School Administration is handing out raises to select teachers like a family business.

August 07, 2018 - 7:59 am
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ST. LOUIS (KMOX) - Labor troubles are heating up in St. Louis Public Schools. Three union staffers, including the local president, are forced to return to the classroom amid a dispute over unequal pay.

The union claims the St. Louis Public School Administration is handing out raises to select teachers like a family business - based on nepotism, or social ties such as what sorority some teachers were in. 

The administration is now forcing the union president and two staffers to return to classroom duties, rather than getting paid to run the union.

“We feel like the district is playing hard ball and trying to intimidate our members who filed a grievance and also our union president. It’s pretty hard to work full time in a classroom and also serve as president,” says Byron Clemens, a spokesman for teacher's union local 420.

Big money is at state. The union claims 1,000 teachers are getting underpaid, based on lack of connections, creating a $15 million annual pay gap in the district. 

The case is scheduled for binding arbitration later this month.

“This is a public entity, it’s not a private enterprise, it’s not a private business, and so the expectation is that it’s very clear to the public, very clear to the people who work in the district what they’re making and the justification as to why there would be any disparity between salaries,” Clemens says.