NASHVILLE, Tenn. (WTVF) — As Metro teachers fight for bigger pay raises, some in the community are thanking them for their hard work.
A teacher appreciation reception was held at Kingdom Grill on Jefferson Street Tuesday night. It was organized by Smokin’ Joe Bonds and Rev. Howard Jones from the Fairfield Missionary Baptist Church.
“We must indeed celebrate our teachers because that is the foundation of a great society,” said Rev. Jones.
Any Metro Nashville Public School employee was welcome to stop by for a free meal of fried chicken and catfish, hush puppies and more. Teachers said the gesture meant a lot.
“So many time in our building, we feel like we are on our own island,” said Bill Luebker, a teacher at Stratford High School. “Here we get to interact with others. It’s nice to hear what is going on and share ideas.”
The dinner was held as Metro teachers continue to fight for larger pay raises. Hundreds have participated in two different “sick outs” to protest Mayor David Briley’s budget plans. The Metro School Board is asking for 10 percent raises for employees, but Mayor Briley’s proposed budget would only allow a three percent raise.
“Teachers shouldn’t have to have a roommate,” said Elaine Bond, the Dean of Students at John. F. Kennedy Middle School. “Teachers have to room together because they don’t make anything.”
Metro teachers are planning a “day of action” on Thursday, May 16. Teachers are encouraged to take a sick day and participate in a march and rally that will end at Metro Council chambers where school officials will present the budget.