ORLANDO, Fla. - Some Orange County teachers said they'll raise awareness about educators being overworked and underpaid by not working off the clock this week.
The Orange County Classroom Teachers Association said many teachers are unhappy with their contracts, so much so that some have reconsidered their profession.
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"We want to know why so many teachers are leaving, looking at other career options," union President Wendy Doromal said.
A survey was sent to 4,500, Orange County Public Schools teachers last year to help answer that question. More than 1,400, educators completed it.
Union officials said that working off the clock was one of the most common complaints.
Seventy-nine percent of those surveyed said they've considered leaving their profession because of it, the union said.
During a teacher summit last year, it was determined that OCPS teachers work an average of 20 hours of unpaid overtime each week, Doromal said.
She said much of that time is spent on collecting data and creating charts, work that many teachers consider unrelated to education and not beneficial to students.
"What we want to do is improve working conditions so that teachers will be able to say, 'I can teach my students. I have that authority. I'm given that trust to make decisions that will make learning fun,'" Doromal said.
In addition to leaving on time, those who support the awareness campaign will wear a button that reads "Commit to action" through Friday.
"OCPS continues to make teacher pay a priority in all budget considerations," school district spokesman Scott Howat said Tuesday in a statement emailed to Channel 9. "While teachers are professionals and not hourly employees, we are hopeful that the legislature will provide increased state funding that recognizes the hard work of our dedicated teachers."
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