AFT President Demands Salary Increases for Teachers in Puerto Rico
SAN JUAN, Puerto Rico—Statement by American Federation of Teachers President Randi Weingarten demanding salary increases be included in the proposed debt-restructuring plan that would cover thousands of teachers on the island:
“Enough is enough. Basta ya. Asociación de Maestros de Puerto Rico President Víctor Manuel Bonilla Sánchez is absolutely right: It’s way past time that Puerto Rican politicians treat educators with dignity and respect. First, they misled teachers about their retirement, falsely promising them $1 billion. And now, as they negotiate a final budget that includes teacher pay, they know full well that teachers have gone 13 years without a pay raise. After all teachers have endured the last several years—hurricanes, earthquakes and damaged schools, while trying to educate children through the worst public health crisis in over a century—they deserve better. Gov. Pedro Pierluisi should immediately demand that the $1 billion that teachers were falsely promised for their retirement funds be used to pay for salary increases. Anything less is an insult to educators and does nothing to honor the skill, commitment and joy they bring to their students and public education.”
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The AFT represents 1.7 million pre-K through 12th-grade teachers; paraprofessionals and other school-related personnel; higher education faculty and professional staff; federal, state and local government employees; nurses and healthcare workers; and early childhood educators.