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.