WASHINGTON (WUSA9) -- The Washington Teachers' Union joined forces with more than a dozen frustrated teachers Monday morning to rally for better pay and a new contract.
"We're asking the chancellor to come back to the table to value the work we do every single day with students across the city," said Chris Bergfalk, who has been teaching for 13 years.
Bergfalk and other teachers are upset about DCPS and Chancellor Kaya Henderson suspending negotiations for a new contract. The agreement teachers are still under expired in 2012.
A spokesperson for the school system said negations have been underway with WTU since 2013, but an agreement could not be reached. This worries teachers like Stacy Tedesco, who has been teaching for six years.
"The contract not only provides for our salary, which is the contentious point today, but provides for all of the learning experiences that kids from DCPS have," Tedesco said.
"From class sizes to how much is spent on materials to how many teachers are staffed to what subjects; the contract really provides for the whole learning experience. The protest started and ended at Thomson Elementary School.
At 7a.m. teachers chanted " What do you want? Contracts. When do you want it? Now!" while walking to Metro Center then back to the school. Before negotiations were called off, Bergfalk said Henderson's last offer included a one-percent raise over the next six years for teachers.
"The cost of living in D.C. has gone up," Bergfalk said. "In the last 3 years the average teacher salary has gone down by 24-hundred dollars."
Teachers said administrators and other employees in the central office have had raises and it is not fair.
On May 6, close to 100 teachers from Murch Elementary School, Deal Middle School and Wilson High School held a similar march and rally. A second rally at Thomson Elementary School will take place Wednesday at 4:40p.m- 5:40 p.m.