Carmel Clay teachers demonstrate in downtown Carmel on Dec. 5

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Carmel Clay teachers demonstrate in downtown Carmel on Dec. 5

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Carmel Clay Schools teachers gathered outside the school and in downtown Carmel today, demonstrating against the current terms of their contract for 2013. According to Molly Maher, Spanish teacher at Clay Middle School and participant in the demonstration, teachers from every school in the district gathered to raise support for a fairer contract.

“We feel that we’re not being fairly treated,” Maher said.

The demonstration is the second in recent weeks, following a demonstration outside Woodbrook Elementary School on Nov. 27. According to Maher, negotiations between teachers and the school board have been ongoing since August, but every time they met, she said, school board officials did not adjusted their proposal to compromise with the needs of the teachers.

“They made no attempt to find common ground with us,” Maher said.

Teachers now may lose compensation for their longer work hours and face a reduction in personal days and their insurance plans, Maher said.

“They’re really placing a huge financial burden on the teachers, and we want more security,” Maher said. “That doesn’t seem to be understood by our administrators.”

Nate Schnellenberger, president of the Indiana State Teachers Association, joined teachers here to show his support for their cause.

“I think it’s (important) that teachers here have a fair contract that respects them and the job that they do,” Schnellenberger said.

According to him, while it’s hard to compare contracts from one district to another, Carmel teachers are not as well off as their counterparts in nearby areas. They receive lower pay and fewer benefits, despite the higher test scores here, he said.

“(Carmel teachers) are doing an excellent job,” Schnellenberger said, “but they need the respect that relates to the job they’re doing.”

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