About a dozen Charlotte educators and Democratic state lawmakers gathered Friday to voice support for Governor Roy Cooper’s veto of a bill that he says offers inadequate teacher raises.
The group that met at the Charlotte-Mecklenburg Association of Educators office agreed with Cooper, saying it’s better for teachers to go a bit longer with no raises than to settle for something too small.
State Senator Joyce Waddell of Charlotte -- a Democrat, retired teacher and former member of the Charlotte-Mecklenburg school board -- said teachers want to send a message to the Republican majority.
Teachers are standing with the governor," Waddell said. "This budget is not what it should be, and that’s why the veto is necessary. … We must make sure that the majority listens and that they are going to do better."
State Senator Jeff Jackson of Charlotte, a Democrat, said there’s plenty of money to provide the larger teacher raises the governor has proposed.
"Republicans have decided that they would rather do the sixth-straight corporate tax cut," Jackson said. "That’s what this is about. The difference between what the governor wants for teachers and what the majority party wants for teachers is the price of their corporate tax cut."
Justin Parmenter, a CMS teacher, said it’s not only teachers who would be shortchanged by the Republican bill.
"Our custodians, our cafeteria workers who are doing food prep and working as cashiers, for someone who works 10 months, 35 hours a week, that raise would be $14.68 a month. A month," Parmenter said. "That comes out to less than $4 a week."
Representatives of the educators association said similar news conferences are taking place around the state, in hopes that supporters will contact Republican lawmakers and urge them to negotiate with Cooper for better raises.