Vestal teachers protest: 'Heroes not zeroes'

By Julianne Peixoto

June 24, 2014 Updated Jun 24, 2014 at 10:47 PM EST

Vestal, NY (WBNG Binghamton) Members of the Vestal Teachers Association say they've been working without a contract for more than two years. And they showed their ire during a protest at the Vestal School Board meeting Tuesday night.

Union leaders said their contract expired in June of 2012 and no one has seen a salary increase since then.

"In the first year of 2012-2013, the district is offering no change in compensation," said Vestal Teachers Association President Joe Herringshaw. "The signs that we're holding today express that teachers do not equal zero. We're asking for a fair contract for fair work and we're hoping that over time here we're gonna work with the district and find a solution that is mutually acceptable for everyone."

The union has been negotiating with the school board, but they have yet to reach a resolution.

The union wants reimbursement for the past two years without a pay raise, as well as a new contract that would ensure raises and compensation for the future.

"We love working here, we love what we do, this isn't personal," said Herringshaw.

Superintendent Mark LaRoach and members of the school board declined to comment, citing ongoing negotiations.