GALLIA COUNTY, Ohio (WSAZ) -- A fight over pay and benefits has an entire school district picketing.
Teachers and support staff in Gallia County say they haven’t had a raise in two years, something they believe they should have received after being rated an "Excellent" school system three of the past four years.
Reps for both the Teachers Association and support staff say they’ve been negotiating with the school board about their contract since May.
They picketed the Gallia County School Board’s meeting on Monday to let them know they’re frustrated.
"We just want them to hear us. We want them to know we're not satisfied with what they have been offering us," said Jody Johnson, president of the Gallia County Schools Support Staff.
Currently, the staff has 100 percent of their insurance paid, but they believe that was about to change.
"You know, we're willing probably to take less money because of the history of having paid insurance. But if we have to pay our insurance, we're going to need more," Johnson said.
Gallia County Schools Superintendent Charla Evans told WSAZ.com the board has made several offers they believe to be fair. She said the school system is spending more than it is taking in. The teachers and support staff have rejected both offers.
“They were asking us to make big sacrifices in our insurance and our salaries, and we were not willing to do that," said Cathy Greenleaf, president of the Gallia County Local Education Association.
Teachers and support staff told WSAZ.com they rejected a revised contract negotiation on Nov. 30 from the board. At that same time, they say they also took a vote to strike. But they are not on strike yet.
The employees do not want to strike, but say if the board is not willing to further negotiations they will.
"We hope that it makes a difference to them that their employees are on Christmas break, coming out on our own time, trying to make a difference for their profession," Greenleaf said.
Gallia County teachers and employees do plan to return to school Jan. 3.
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