Recently, Scarborough teachers have been in the news as we fight for a fair contract and continue to work without one since August.

When I attended a school board meeting as a teacher and a Scarborough Education Association member, the board refused to hear public comment on the contract. Some board members walked out when teachers tried to speak. Here’s what I would have said.

One union request is for more teacher-directed time to prepare and plan lessons. All working parents know the hours we get with our own children are short. But as a teacher, I bring more and more work home as demands on my time increase. And as a good teacher, I cannot let myself be unprepared. So I work: after bedtime, during naps, and always on weekends and vacations while my own children see less and less of me.

Another union request is for pay that is equitable with comparably high-performing area districts. Fair pay would help offset the high cost of housing in Scarborough. In fact, last April, teachers were told that based on their income, they would qualify for Habitat for Humanity homes. It is embarrassing that my two-income family would have qualified for subsidized housing after 11 years of service to the fifth-ranking school system in the state.

We want to be heard, recognized, respected and paid accordingly. We are professionals and have proven we will do our jobs even in the absence of a contract. Is it too much to ask for a basic level of respect in the process?

Maire Trombley

Scarborough teacher

North Windham resident

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