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Madera teachers threaten to strike

For the second time this month, Madera teachers are threatening a strike.
For the second time this month, Madera teachers are threatening a strike.

Local school board members heard from hundreds of angry teachers.

One of the key sticking points is the rising cost of health insurance. 

Madera Unified currently pays 90% of the $23.5 million premium, while the teachers only pay 10%. 

The district wants teachers to contribute more for their health insurance but the teachers argue that's the equivalent of a pay cut.

The district says its insurance cost have almost doubled over the last decade. A chart on their websites shows it's gone from $7,833.00 in 2001 to $14,136.00 per employee.

The protesting teachers want the district to return to the bargaining table, saying teachers haven't had a pay raise in years, but the district says 40% of the teachers are already at the top of their pay scale and therefore aren't eligible for more pay raises. 

The average pay for a Madera teacher is about $60,000 with some making over $70,000.

The district has about 900 teachers. 

Nothing specific yet on when or if the union will strike.

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