Lawrence Public Schools Staff Union rally for higher pay

They are asking the district to give them a livable wage which they say is $15 an hour
Published: May. 16, 2022 at 10:13 PM CDT
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TOPEKA, Kan. (WIBW) -Staff of Lawrence Public Schools rallied outside of the Lawrence Public Schools District Office Monday evening, they’re asking better pay.

The staff joining the rally, is a group that includes cafeteria staff, janitors, nurses aids and paraeducators.

They are asking the district to give them a livable wage which they say is $15 an hour.

“We are fighting for living wage, we have about 300 of our workers that make between $11-$13 an hour, we have about 400 of our workers that make under $15 an hour,” said Hannah Allison-Natale.

“We have members that are living out of their car and donating blood and having two or three jobs, that’s unacceptable,” said Tatyana Younger.

Allison-Natale who helped organized the rally says the staff deserve an increase in pay for their hard work and dedication to the district.

“We care for our students, we serve our educators help serve some of our most vulnerable students with disabilities, we feed our students we clean our building, we make the schools run.”

She says their working conditions need to improve in order for students to be successful in the classroom.

“We believe that our working conditions are our students living conditions. For us to have our best working conditions possible in order for our students to have the best learning conditions we need to make a living wage so we are not working two or three jobs or unable to feed our own families,” she said.

The group says the district always meets their concerns with the same answer.

“A lot of it is budget issues, budget crisis, they had to make up all that money so that continues to be the thing that we keep coming back to, it’s “If you want this, then we are going to have to cut this,”. I believe there is budget issues, but I believe there is enough creativity or something we can do to sustain the workers that we have and make it to these people want to work in these schools,” said Younger.

We have reached out to the district for a statement regarding the rally and we have not heard back yet.

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