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ICYMI: Indiana Teachers Say Holcomb Is “Kicking The Can Down The Road” On Teacher Pay

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Indiana teachers aren’t waiting for Gov. Eric Holcomb to prioritize their long-overdue pay raise. They are taking matters into their own hands. 
Teachers held a massive “Red For Ed” rally at the Statehouse to protest Holcomb’s anti-teacher agenda. Holcomb was nowhere to be found, instead flying to Boca Raton. 
Now Holcomb refuses to include a teacher pay raise in his legislative priorities this year. Holcomb’s insiders continue to do well. He pays his employees much higher salaries than the previous governor. 
Unlike teachers, Holcomb’s cronies didn’t have to wait for a study to determine their pay raises. 
Read more about the coming clash between Holcomb and Indiana educators: 
Indianapolis Star: Indiana teachers double down on calls for better pay, set up potential showdown
Indiana teachers are doubling down on calls for better pay, setting up a potential showdown between educators and lawmakers in the coming months.
The Indiana State Teachers Association is asking lawmakers to take $75 million from the state’s budget surplus and put it toward raising the base salary of all teachers this year. Gov. Eric Holcomb and Statehouse leaders have said that teacher pay is an issue that needs to be addressed during the next budget-writing session, in 2021.
“To kick the can down the road and wait for another budget cycle, we think is shortsighted on the part of our legislators,” said ISTA President Keith Gambill at a press conference Thursday morning. “We believe that they need to act now on that issue.”
Thousands of teachers rallied at the Statehouse last month for the Red for Ed Action Day, calling for better pay and working conditions. Gambill wasn’t ready to say that his members would take stronger action, but said they will be watching the upcoming legislative session closely and are prepared to go to the polls in November.
“The teachers want to do what they went into the profession to do and that’s to teach their students,” he said. “They want to make sure that they are exhaust every avenue possible before stepping into something such as a strike.”
Strikes are illegal in Indiana, but teachers could consider another type of job action, similar to what the state saw last month when half of the state’s school districts cancelled class for the day.
Gambill said he’d need to see the details but ISTA could probably be on board with making the workforce-related activity optional.
“There’s going to be more work to be done to make sure we fill whatever the gap is,” Holcomb said during an event in Terre Haute Tuesday. 
Gambill said that if Holcomb and Statehouse leaders are serious, though, they’ll act now.
“The governor isn’t going to get us into the top 3 in the region by suppressing Illinois’ pay scale,” Gambill said. “They’re going to have to lift the salaries of Indiana teachers.”
The legislative session begins in January.