DELANO, Calif. - Nearly one hundred concerned teachers, parents and students huddled to a Delano Union School District board meeting at 6 p.m. on Monday to voice their disapproval on not receiving a pay raise.
"We understand times are tough," said Diego Diaz, a Physical Education teacher at Pioneer School. "But we haven't received a raise since 2008."
The meeting was open to the public and is stirring much controversy due to a 16% raise that will be given to confidential non-unionized works, such as superintendent secretaries, maintenance works and food services.
Mark Kotch, head of Teacher's Union said this was a "puppet show," and that teachers haven't seen a cost of living expenditure in this low wealth school district.
"If there's money for them but not enough for a two percent cost-of-living adjustment for us, that's a cause of concern," he said.
"Our district is pleading poverty and we're currently at impasse," Kotch said. "We have a state-appointed mediator and we are trying to get a clearer picture of the district's finances."
There are over 300 teachers in the district's 12 schools, with a new one built last year.
Though Delano School District compares fairly to the salaries of other districts, no raise means they're falling behind.
"They're being patted on the back but being patted on the back doesn't put food on the table or shoes on the kids," Kotch said.