A Raise over a Coworker
The budget passed at the last Tiverton School Committee meeting — largely reflecting the latest teacher contract proposed — included the loss of only one teaching position from the payrolls. Prior to that, the district had sent out thirty-four non-renewal notices. Apparently, three-quarters of the teachers are willing to accept the risk (and probable sacrifice) of those three dozen peers:
In a straw poll, 144 teachers — three quarters of the union membership — indicated their disapproval of a two-year contract proposal from the School Committee that the union president says would eat up virtually all the raises with stiff hikes in out-of-pocket health-care costs in the second year.
Amy Mullen, the union president, said the committee’s proposal in the second year would mean $3-a-week raises to teachers with at least 10 years’ experience — slightly more than half the membership.
The remaining teachers, who are still working their way up the experience ladder, would come out at least $1,300 ahead in the second year, Mullen said.
Well, why would experienced teachers want to tough it out with stagnant $70,000-ish salaries until budget issues turn around? They’ve got seniority, after all.
Here, by the way, is a flashpoint that ought to be vehemently taken off the table immediately in response to the teachers’ continued plying of the immoral work-to-rule strategy:
Last week, the School Committee passed on a union proposal for a one-year agreement that would have granted 3-percent cost-of-living increases, but conceded a jump of $522 in the employee share of a family health insurance plan, to $1,662 from $1,100.
The one year-agreement would have been retroactive to the expiration of the most recent agreement at the end of last August.
Nothing should be retroactive. You strike, you play games with children’s educations, you get what you get during that period.
I hate to complain about such things, but I really found Gina Macris’s reportage to be confusing. Why does she allow Mullen to break out the step 10 teachers’ potential raises on a weekly basis and then transition immediately to the annual increase of other teachers? Why, for that matter does she studiously avoid using the term “step,” choosing instead the non-contractual phrase “experience ladder”?