County's teachers demand pay increase

By Nikki

CHARLESTON, S.C. (WCIV) -- Fed up with pay freezes, a newly formed teachers' organization unleashed their frustrations on members of the Charleston County School District Monday night.

'Restore Teacher Salaries' formed about two months ago. After two years and still no increase in pay, they say it's time for that to all change.

Patrick Hayes received a standing ovation as he addressed board members. He explained why paying teachers what they deserve is crucial for the success of the school district.

"We've done more with less for less than what we were promised," he told board members.

Hayes, a fourth grade teacher, is the driving force behind the group.

"Teachers are people who want to give their best," said Hayes. "They come here to give their best and, it makes it harder to do that when you not receiving you were told you were going to receive."

Hayes says other neighboring districts pay their teachers morewhile his colleagues in Charleston County can't even receive a raise.

"Someone who was hired four years ago in this district, they've never been paid the salary that they were going to receive," said Hayes.

Kent Riddle, an elementary teacher at Angel Oak, says the pay freeze ruins morale.

"The more this happens, the more teachers are going to look at places," said Riddle.

Superintendent Dr. Nancy McGinley supports step increases for teachers even though it would cost the district about $12 million.

"We need more competitive salaries or we are going lose our best assets and that's our people-our teachers, our principals," said McGinley. "I hope the board will rally behind it."

Board members will have first reading on the upcoming budget in May and have the final reading thirty days after that. McGinley said she hopes the step increase that{}teachers are so desperately pushing for will be included in that budget.