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(INDIANAPOLIS) — Indiana teachers are asking legislators for higher pay and a greater voice in their working conditions.

The Indiana State Teachers Association says the pandemic budget crunch doesn’t relieve Governor

Holcomb of a promise to boost teacher pay. And president Keith Gambill says collective bargaining

rights need to be expanded so teachers have a say in how schools combine in-person and e-

learning. He says in some districts, schools have informed teachers of changes just hours before

telling parents.

Gambill says teachers want to make sure schools don’t let their guard down on disinfecting

surfaces. And he says there needs to be a recognition of the increased workload involved in creating

separate lesson plans for virtual and in-class students, and the anxiety in hoping the computer

connection holds up.

Nearly 1,700 Indiana teachers have contracted coronavirus since classes resumed, an average

of a little more than one per school. Gambill says the pandemic has also worsened Indiana’s teacher

shortage, with some teachers looking at their districts’ plans for returning to class and abruptly