Saturday, January 26, 2013

Can We Get This Straight...PLEASE?

January is almost done.  The school board SHOULD be working up a budget for 2013-14.
Oh...but wait....the "professional educators" union is still stalling on raises for 2012-13.

They want more money...more than the 2% every other group got.
They want the raises percentage to apply to all members unilaterally.
We think they (or at least their negotiating team) need to get real.

We have agreed---repeatedly---with SPEA that entry level teachers need a wage hike.  But SPEA won't compromise.  We need to get rid of the grid and compress the salary structure.   Teachers serve a vital role...but a 5th grade educator needs neither a PhD or an $86,000 base salary.  We would be happy to advocate for something along the lines of a starting wage of $40-45,000 with a ceiling under $70,000.  You hit the ceiling and your pay is frozen until the school board changes the floor and ceiling...which may (or may not) be an annual adjustment.

It's a 9 month job, people
Please...we're so tired of the argument that the job of a teacher is a 12 month job.   Stop the madness.  Many of you work another job during the summer months.  So don't tell us that you work a summer job to pay the rent but then also tell us that you slave your summer away working on lesson planning.  Some of you work (and get paid additionally for) summer school assignments.  If you need all the summer months to do "lesson planning", how do you possibly have time to teach summer school?   Yeah....RRRRRight!  And the blue/white collar non teacher doesn't do ANY work during their vacation time. Think again.

So stop singing Aerosmith's "Dream On" and try David Bowie's "Get Real".  Seriously...can you please GET REAL?  Your contract is for 190 days.  That's all that is required.  The rest of the working world has a "contract" of 260 days.   That  means that you only work 73% of what the rest of the world works.  And that means that your $32,505 base wage is equivalent to  $44,500 that the rest of the world earns.  That means that our 5th grade teacher making $86,000 (for 190 days work) is equivalent to a salary of $117,800 for the rest of us.  Now...we're not saying that your base bay for  new teacher is great.  But that is a separate issue.  We need to stop comparing apples to this case...ROAD apples.

It's a choice...You do not need all those credits/degrees
Teachers will also cry that they spend all kinds of time and money paying for additional education credit that they "need".  Like we tell our kids:  NEED?  or WANT?   Many do not need credits; they WANT the credits because they know that every  credits gets them a 2% increase as they "change lanes" on the grid.  Fine...we do away with the grid and you can get off the gerbil wheel.

Now...maybe instead you want to be honest and tell us that at least some of you are obtaining an advanced degree so you can move into administration.   That's great...but it's also a horse of an entirely different color.  You do not need that degree for your teaching seek it for something else.

By all means, advance your education if that's what you CHOOSE to do.  But do not use it to rationalize your need for better pay.

You're not the only ones that work more than 8 hrs/day
Again, we tire of all the stories of all the time spent beyond a teacher's working day doing "teacher stuff".  We're not drinking that Kool-Aid!  You think you have the market cornered on putting in more than 40 hrs per week on your job?  Think again.  The rest of the world ALSO routinely puts in more than their "required" time.  They work at night, on the weekends, while on vacation.

None of us work 40 hr weeks.  But the majority of us do not get the summers off where we could vacation, get a second job doing something else we enjoy doing, or do nothing.

You want to be known as PROFESSIONAL educators?  Then please ACT like a professional.

Is it really even 8 hrs/day?
Most of us go to our 9 to 5 jobs (or 8 to 4, or whatever)...our 8 hours jobs and, other than a 30 minute lunch (or 30 minutes of "break"), they o their job for the entire day.  We do not get *paid* time to "prep" for out jobs.  We are expected to be there and do it.

The best kept secret of professional educators is that they are only required to "teach" for 5 or maybe 6 "class period" per day.  Middle school is a great example.  Class "periods" are 45 minutes.  Teachers are required to teach 5 classroom periods plus take on one supervisory duty (study hall, lunchroom, etc.) per day.  Add it up people.  Including a 30 minute paid lunch, that accounts for 300 minutes, or 5 hours per day.  That means that they are paid for 3 hours (37.5%) of their daily time for work planning or classroom prep!!!!

How many of you non-teachers get 3 hours each day PAID time to prepare to do your job?

Let the crucifixion begin....but we need to get past the horse puckey and start being honest.  No more embellishing.  We grow weary of the nonsense.
Dear Professional's time for you to accept the offer made by the school board and move on.   Your dreams of Act 10 being struck down have gone up in smoke.  Get over it.  Move on.  Hell...move forward.  The school board has offered you a VERY fair plan.

To borrow from a slightly crude but perhaps appropriate adage..."Tough titty said the kitty, but the milk is still good"