Knox County Teachers voted Monday night to keep their guaranteed raises, even though it means it will cost some of their co-workers their jobs.
Union leaders counted 1,770 ballots and said the winning margin was more than 400 votes. The raises will amount to around $200 dollars for some teachers and others will see a near $1,000 bump in pay.
"It was a tough decision. But there was a feeling of skepticism and lack of trust by teachers that drove the vote," said Knox County Education Association President Jessica Holman.
District leaders in Knox County had asked teachers to forgo the raises to save close to 50 positions. The superintendent and school board are facing a four million dollar budget hole that they will likely now have to fill with some job cuts.
"I was disappointed with the vote," said Knox County School Board Chair Indya Kincannon. "The result will likely mean teacher cuts and larger class sizes," said Kincannon.
The board is set to meet Wednesday with Superintendent Jim McIntyre about the budget but according to Chair Kincannon, the vote by the teachers may delay that meeting.