Indiana teachers union calls lawmakers to address shortages

INDIANAPOLIS (AP) — Indiana’s largest teachers union is calling on state lawmakers to address educator burnout and ongoing teacher shortages during the next legislative session that begins in January.

Indiana State Teachers Association President Keith Gambill said during a news conference Monday that the state is “slowly making progress” on teacher pay, but additional action is needed to attract and retain teachers.

Teacher workload and burnout were issues before the start of the coronavirus pandemic, Gambill said, but the onset of the virus has since worsened the state’s teacher shortage.

He said the union is now calling on the legislature to restore teachers’ ability to bargain contracts that include health and safety conditions, class sizes and prep periods.

Below is earlier coverage from News 8’s Aleah Hordges

INDIANAPOLIS (WISH) –The Indiana State Teachers Association (ISTA) will provide an update on the state’s starting teacher salary goal at 10 a.m. Monday.

The virtual meeting comes as teachers around the state are fighting for higher pay.

ISTA President Keith Gambill will meet with three educators from around the state, including math teacher Jenny Whitaker from Warren Central High School.

The meeting will showcase a new map for tracking the progress of the teacher salary goal and calling for the state to restore educator voice through collective bargaining for certain working conditions.

The Pike Township School District is offering a 4.6% raise in teacher salary, but teachers want a raise closer to 7%, which is lower than what some surrounding districts are getting.

Indianapolis Public Schools just announced it’s made significant investments in teacher compensation.

Annual salaries will range from $47,800-$90,000 depending on years of experience.