Surreality in Johnston Contract

Rhode Island’s circumstances won’t change until enough voters see the scam in such news as this:

The agreement, ratified by the committee on Tuesday night, gives all teachers a 2-percent raise for the 2010-2011 school year, said the schools superintendent, Margaret A. Iacovelli.
The most experienced teachers (at the 10th step) will receive a 1.75 percent raise during the upcoming 2009-2010 school year while teachers at all lower steps will see no increase in their wages.

There is simply no way it wouldn’t be major news if the lower-step teachers forewent their step increases. In the previous contract (PDF via Transparency Train), step increases ranged from 5.24% to 8.38%, with an average of 6.81%. Only in Rhode Island labor lingo is a 5–8% increase in pay considered a flat-lined concession during hard economic times.
And only a citizenry fatally inured to having their elected representatives give away their tax dollars to organized labor would fail to laugh at this negotiating accomplishment:

Teachers’ contributions to their health-care costs will increase by $114,000 in the second year of the contract and by $142,500 in the final year, she said. The teachers’ contributions to their health insurance will gradually increase from $780 per year now to $1,280 in the final year of the contract between the town and the Johnston Federation of Teachers.

So, in the third year of the contract, teachers will get raises (on top of step increases and other adjustments, such as higher-ed degree bonuses) ranging from $757.70 to $1,369.88, and their share of healthcare payments will increase by $500. For comparison with your own healthcare deal, their co-shares will be rising from $15 to $24.62 per week. That certainly doesn’t break the 10%-of-premium milestone now — let alone two years from now.
This, Projo reporter Mark Reynolds tell us, is the result when a union “has come to recognize the severity of [a] town’s finances.” Judge from that what they’ve been doing to us during somewhat less lean years.

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12 years ago

Keep in mind that when the generous teachers agreed to their first $780/year co-pay, they were given a $780 stipend to attend previously mandated staff meetings (3 per year), so there net contribution to the cause was $0.00. (Article LI, Section 1)
The question now is, “Was the stipend increased to match the horrific burden the poor teachers are being forced to bear or are they actually going to begin to make their first premium share contribution with this new contract?”
I’m sure they will spell it out in their required financial impact statement.

Pat Crowley
12 years ago

once again, you fail to mention that step increases were created by management to keep wages low. Step 10 in the market rate….every step below it is a savings to the employers.
Only when teachers are paid nothing will you be happy.

Justin Katz
12 years ago

Right. Because it’s so common for professionals to make the overall “market rate” their first year’s on the job. Sure.
The point’s irrelevant, by the way, on whether the teachers saw salary increases or not.
I say that good teachers should make more. It’s only union organizers whom I’d like to see making nothing.

Curious Resident
Curious Resident
12 years ago

I’ll be happy when schools actually attain educational outcomes that produce educated students capable of competing globally. With our kids internationally going from among the top scorers entering government schools and then plummetting to the bottom with a full dose of government education under their belts, everyone of us should be ashamed for tolerating this nonsense.
Teachers probably aren’t the sole cause, but most people get fired if they fail to get the job done. Teachers get raises. I guess there are benefits to turning smart children into stupid adults?

12 years ago

If you think the economy is hurting – just listen to the anti-education/anti-spending/anti-police and fire/I hate you and everything that you have because I was too lazy to plan ahead and work for my $ type people like this Katz guy. I’ll give him credit for having an average vocabulary but little people like this will never be satisfied with the world. His mentality is archaic, mundane, and neanderthol (just look at his picture – lots of hate there). Instead of complaining he first should seek the help of a good social worker – this hate needs to be addressed before he can be a whole person who actually contributes some good. Only then will his eyes be open.

12 years ago

“Because it’s so common for professionals to make the overall “market rate” their first year’s on the job.”
Professionals also get raises and continue to hold a job regardless of merit.
And increases in their health care co-premiums are always offset by a monetary raise.
(The parallels go on and on …)

Robert Balliot
12 years ago

Market rate should benchmark equivalent qualifications. What would someone with a BA in education who does not go into a union teaching position earn for their first year out of college working 10 months per year? – after 2 years? – after 5 years?

Sean Gately
Sean Gately
12 years ago

Pat :
Repeat the lies
Repeat the lies

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