Debating teacher contracts in Toppenish - NBC Right Now/KNDO/KNDU Tri-Cities, Yakima, WA |

Debating teacher contracts in Toppenish

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TOPPENISH, Wash.- Toppenish administrators and the teachers union have not gotten very far in settling teacher contracts.

Thursday morning teachers met at Toppenish high school to go over the contract.  They dressed in black to show their unity and to tell school administrators, they're not giving up on what they want.

Union leaders say teachers also need more insurance coverage that covers their families too.

State budget cuts reduced the number of extra paid work days, so teachers say they want some kind of compensation for that. 

"Members are losing $3,000 to $1,500 a year in just what taken away so far so out stand is that we don't want to give back anything we want to gain even if it's a little," said Terri Winckler, President of the Toppenish Education Association.

"Forecasts are doom and gloom and we have to make sure we can maintain a budget to pay our people," said John Cerna, the assistant superintendent for the Toppenish School District.

Union members want a one-dollar raise for extra time worked over their regular seven hours.

There was no settlement today.

Both parties are hoping to see something finalized at a tentative mediation on September 21st.