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Chris Rickert: A raise by many other names
WI State Journal ^ | April 27, 2013 | Chris Rickert

Posted on 05/02/2013 2:29:19 PM PDT by Sopater

“Our teachers haven’t 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 haven’t seen their pay go up in three years, but the vast majority of Madison public school teachers aren’t among them.

And yet, that doesn’t necessarily mean they’re taking home more money.

Confused? Welcome to the world of public school teacher compensation, post-Act 10.

Hughes isn’t the first public school representative whose definition of “raise” doesn’t 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 district’s 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.

It’s such parsing that allows Hughes to say teachers haven’t 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 master’s degree.

For this school year, 2,498 of 2,700 teachers got salary increases for longevity and degree attainment. District spokeswoman Rachel Strauch-Nelson couldn’t say what the average increase was.

Hughes acknowledged that it’s 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 Walker’s 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 don’t 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 that’s 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 they’re paying for.


TOPICS: Culture/Society; Government; News/Current Events; US: Wisconsin
KEYWORDS: government; publicschool; teachers; unions
If "cost of living" increases don't count as a raise, then I've only have a handful of raises over my career.
1 posted on 05/02/2013 2:29:19 PM PDT by Sopater
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To: Sopater

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!

LLS


2 posted on 05/02/2013 2:37:49 PM PDT by LibLieSlayer (FROM MY COLD, DEAD HANDS!)
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To: Sopater
My employer recently came to the conclusion that his workers weren't being paid well enough compared to other similarly employed workers in our area and now we're all looking at an extra $2-$5/hr depending on years of experience. Oh, we're non-union. When is the last time a union shop got a $2/hr-$5/hr raise because the employer wanted to retain his employees? never?

Did I mention we were non-union?

3 posted on 05/02/2013 2:40:29 PM PDT by RC one
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To: Sopater
COLA is not a raise ~ however, the point of the story is to make some sort of point by noticing that people who work in civil service jobs are stuck in a sort of classification/seniority stucture that talks about GRADE LEVEL, STEPS, COLA, etc.

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.

4 posted on 05/02/2013 2:41:09 PM PDT by muawiyah
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To: Sopater

OMG cry me a river


5 posted on 05/02/2013 2:47:41 PM PDT by NEMDF
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To: muawiyah

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. ?


6 posted on 05/02/2013 2:49:37 PM PDT by NEMDF
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To: NEMDF
COLA systems are based on inflation ~ the idea is that you can keep the same REAL compensation you had before inflation.

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.

7 posted on 05/02/2013 2:54:36 PM PDT by muawiyah
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To: muawiyah

So for people who DON’T get COLA raises, what would you say is happening to their income over time?


8 posted on 05/02/2013 2:58:22 PM PDT by NEMDF
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To: NEMDF
What do I imagine? Out of those 7 million private corporations certainly some of them have COLA ~ in many of them you and I know the top executives are protected from the economy by being paid way above rate, and then others the CEO simply raises prices himself and pads his own salary accordingly.

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

9 posted on 05/02/2013 3:09:07 PM PDT by muawiyah
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To: muawiyah

“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?


10 posted on 05/02/2013 5:09:41 PM PDT by kearnyirish2 (Affirmative action is economic war against white males (and therefore white families).)
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To: kearnyirish2
yeah ~

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.

11 posted on 05/02/2013 5:15:27 PM PDT by muawiyah
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To: muawiyah

“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...


12 posted on 05/02/2013 5:20:52 PM PDT by kearnyirish2 (Affirmative action is economic war against white males (and therefore white families).)
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To: kearnyirish2

you were warned to leave New Jersey earlier. Let me repeat it, leave New Jersey!


13 posted on 05/02/2013 5:39:38 PM PDT by muawiyah
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To: kearnyirish2
The 13th amendment prohibits your ownership of other people. Even in 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.

14 posted on 05/02/2013 5:41:46 PM PDT by muawiyah
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To: muawiyah

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.


15 posted on 05/02/2013 5:44:25 PM PDT by kearnyirish2 (Affirmative action is economic war against white males (and therefore white families).)
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To: Sopater
Well...@#%#$%...I've totally laughed out loud twice today on FR....after reading this...

"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.

16 posted on 05/02/2013 5:51:47 PM PDT by Osage Orange (Life is a bitch. If it was easy, we would call it a slut)
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To: muawiyah
If I got a COLA the last 2-3 years....I'd call it a raise.

You can call it what you want.............

17 posted on 05/02/2013 5:54:32 PM PDT by Osage Orange (Life is a bitch. If it was easy, we would call it a slut)
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To: muawiyah

“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.


18 posted on 05/02/2013 5:55:21 PM PDT by kearnyirish2 (Affirmative action is economic war against white males (and therefore white families).)
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To: kearnyirish2
Different issue ~ but New Jersey is a special case. Don't try to live there.

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.

19 posted on 05/02/2013 6:02:59 PM PDT by muawiyah
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To: Osage Orange
It's called COLA. Obama didn't give federal employees a raise for 3 years ~ that's called NOT GETTING A RAISE.

Some people got promotions from one grade to another grade. That's called GETTING A PROMOTION.

20 posted on 05/02/2013 6:06:39 PM PDT by muawiyah
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To: NEMDF
IMHO, “a raise” is an increase in base compensation. ?

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.

21 posted on 05/03/2013 7:07:23 AM PDT by dearolddad (/i>)
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To: muawiyah
We totally disagree.....

And there you have it...

22 posted on 05/04/2013 7:47:42 PM PDT by Osage Orange (Life is a bitch. If it was easy, we would call it a slut)
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