SIOUX FALLS, SD -
A group of Sioux Falls School District substitute teachers are trying to rally fellow subs together in hopes of getting a pay raise.
As substitute teachers pulled into Washington High School's parking lot for mandatory training they were greeted by fellow subs and volunteers passing on a message in hopes of returned support.
"We are hoping to give the substitutes a voice within the district and get the same treatment as every other entity," Theresa Stehly said.
Stehly is leading the initiative. She says substitute teachers haven't seen a raise in six years while teachers and other employees have. She doesn't believe the district is listening to their needs but thinks they'll have a voice in numbers.
"We've faced a real solid wall of resistance in this situation, we've had to move to some kind of organizational representation," Stehly said.
The substitutes are standing out on the public sidewalk because the district said they didn't want them by the front doors. While this presents a challenge, Stehly says she still believes she'll get the message across.
"It's a worthwhile project for the betterment of our school district," Stehly said.
While many just drove by, others happily took the flier outlining district employee pay raises and a suggested sub pay model to follow.
"You know budgets were set two years ago but we can have hope right." one substitute teacher said.
The school district has said subs were the only group to not take a pay cut two years ago. But, none the less, School Board President Doug Morrison says they do value the substitutes and will consider the request.
"In this coming budget cycle we'll look at substitute teacher pay again if it merits it we'll act on an increase, maybe, for substitutes," Morrison said.
And at this point, that's all Stehly's really wants hear.
Substitutes in the Sioux Falls School District right now make a flat rate of $90 a day; they get a $25 bonus for each five days worked in a row. If they sub for the same teacher for 30 days or more, they make $132.50 a day.
The School District says they do look at what school districts around the state pay to try to stay competitive.
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