Skip to comments.Chris Rickert: A raise by many other names
Posted on 05/02/2013 2:29:19 PM PDT by Sopater
Our teachers havent had a raise for the last three years. Ed Hughes, clerk and candidate for president of the Madison School Board
There are a lot of employees who havent seen their pay go up in three years, but the vast majority of Madison public school teachers arent among them.
And yet, that doesnt necessarily mean theyre taking home more money.
Confused? Welcome to the world of public school teacher compensation, post-Act 10.
Hughes isnt the first public school representative whose definition of raise doesnt jibe with the way the rest of the world defines raise i.e., an increase in salary for a job well done.
During teachers union contract negotiations, public school and union officials routinely refer to a raise as something that is distinct from and in addition to the automatic bumps in salary teachers are already getting for remaining on the job and accruing more college credit. Essentially, such raises are across-the-board increases in a districts salary range, known as a salary schedule.
But if a district refuses to increase that range, teachers continue to get longevity and degree-attainment pay raises under the old salary schedule.
Its such parsing that allows Hughes to say teachers havent gotten raises and to be right, at least in one context.
The Madison Schools teacher salary schedule provides increases of between a few hundred dollars to more than a $1,000 for each year of service and in the range of $3,000 to $7,000 more a year for getting a masters degree.
For this school year, 2,498 of 2,700 teachers got salary increases for longevity and degree attainment. District spokeswoman Rachel Strauch-Nelson couldnt say what the average increase was.
Hughes acknowledged that its probably fairer to define seniority and degree-attainment hikes as raises. I have learned that the great majority of our teachers benefit from these increases, he said.
Still, he said teachers generally are making less than they did three years ago, before they agreed to start putting some of their take-home pay toward retirement. That concession was made with the advent of Gov. Scott Walkers Act 10, and Hughes said it cut teacher pay an average of 5.5 percent.
I have little sympathy for teachers having to do something that most of us have been doing for a long time: saving for retirement. Teachers still dont pay for their health insurance the cost of which, for the rest of us, has been rising at alarming rates for years.
Nevertheless, Hughes is right, and he stands by his call for giving Madison teachers 1.5 percent raises (as in those across-the-board increases to the salary schedule).
He makes a fair point, although even better would be to pay teachers like doctors, lawyers and other well-paid professionals and to expect similar levels of responsibility, work and educational attainment in return.
As thats probably not possible in the short-term, a less complex teacher-compensation system would be nice. Teachers may deserve a raise, but taxpayers should at least know what theyre paying for.
I am a 40 year business owner... I have not had a raise in 10 years... but I have no gooberment thugs or union goons to force AMERICA to GIVE me a raise. Elite and greedy demons of the nea. I am sick of them all!
Did I mention we were non-union?
Let me assure everyone no one ever expected a civil service job classification and compensation system to ever recognize a job well done.
These systems are designed to make sure no one gets more than the other guy under the same circumstances. This makes it easier for the public officials responsible for that department to do a quick look-see and evaluate 'fairness'.
Remember, the United States government, America's largest employer, has only one CEO ~ 7 million other private sector corporations each have one CEO. They all have different job descriptions, but the only CEO who's part of a civil service job classification and compensation system is the President. Expecting something different in a civil service job is a bit out there.
OMG cry me a river
Does COLA not increase their earnings? So how can you say it is not a raise?
IMHO, “a raise” is an increase in base compensation. ?
Having been through the grind of the Carter Regime where we had double digit inflation every year I was quite happy to see management authorize COLA. Otherwise it was getting so my rent was being raised every month and I was beginning to wonder if I would have to give up sardines and canned tuna with beans for dinner.
So for people who DON’T get COLA raises, what would you say is happening to their income over time?
There are so many different ways corporations take care of compensation needs ~ yet governments do it in only two ways ~ wageboard hourly rates or classification systems with grade levels and steps.
I'd like to discuss all the private systems at length, but I bet you only know a couple of them ~ and probably never worked inside a grade/step system
“COLA is not a raise”
Try telling that to private-sector employees who’ve had their pay frozen for a few years, who are forced to give the non-raise COLA pay to their civil servant overlords.
COLA is a raise; has anyone ever had their pay lowered by COLAs?
BTW, you don't OWN civil service employees. They're hired from the same place you were hired ~ if you like their pay and bennies apply for a job.
“BTW, you don’t OWN civil service employees. They’re hired from the same place you were hired ~ if you like their pay and bennies apply for a job.”
Actually we do; they work for us (we pay them), while most of us don’t work for them (they don’t pay us). Civil service at this point is “whites need not apply”; since the money is gone I guess it doesn’t matter anyway.
Here in NJ we’ve cut gubmint workers by the thousands, and we’re not done (see Camden NJ’s police force disband?). The gap between the standard of living of gubmint workers and those that are forced to pay them had grown so wide that even libs are voting them out of their jobs...
you were warned to leave New Jersey earlier. Let me repeat it, leave New Jersey!
The employees are hired by your gub'mnt ~ you, in turn, vote for your gub'mnt. Taxes are collected at the point of the barrel of a gun.
Your issue in New Jersey is the tax burden.
As I said, leave New Jersey.
Some of us bought homes here years ago; when the kids are grown maybe it will be a better time to sell. In any case, NJ hasn’t looked better in years in terms of property tax caps and such (hence the layoffs). Many young people are fleeing NJ in droves, so we’ve become a “sanctuary state” in order to keep asses in the classrooms and avoid whole areas reverting to nature (ghost towns).
I speak Spanish (wife is one of “them”), so I don’t mind the fact that though I live in an officially “white” town over 50% of the children are “other”; they actually are very family-oriented people.
"He makes a fair point, although even better would be to pay teachers like doctors, lawyers and other well-paid professionals"
Pay TEACHERS like Doctor's..??????? LOL!!!!
Lib's are certifiable.
You can call it what you want.............
“you, in turn, vote for your gub’mnt.”
We have voted down school budgets only to have the results circumvented.
“Your issue in New Jersey is the tax burden.”
Our issue in NJ is a “workfare class” (gubmint workers) that outnumbers our middle class and our “welfare class”.
While leaving is easy to throw out there, the fact is that you can’t continuously cede control of the electoral votes that have given us 2 terms of Obama.
BTW, even if you didn't have any government employees your state would have the same problems ~ it has to do with the political structure, the mob, and the old money (they used to own everything there, now they clip coupons).
The employees are employees.
Some people got promotions from one grade to another grade. That's called GETTING A PROMOTION.
Exactly, If the gross on your pay stub is more this year than last year even a teacher or union leader should be intelligent to figure it out.
And there you have it...