Really? You really think that under the new climate in Wisconsin that your existing contract should be allowed to stand? What the teachers union needs to come to grips with is that its getting harder and harder for the public to support their petulant positioning.
Can you name one…just one…occupation that gets an automatic 3% pay raise every year just for being a year older? And then…on TOP of that, you expect a big raise from the school board as well? About 4-6 weeks ago, you fine folks made a plea for a 3.1% increase. Those on “the grid” would then receive a 6.1% increase. What other occupation still gets an annual “step increase for basically continuing to work and having a birthday.
SPEA, and across the state other teachers’ unions, have long spoken out about the low wage paid to entry level teachers. In the past, the “grid” has impeded the district’s ability to single out one group of SPEA members for above average pay increases. In addition, SPEA, like many teachers unions, establishes a “negotiations committee” which is heavily (if not totally) comprised of teachers earning wages either at the far end of the salary grid, or even “off” the grid. It can be argued that these “negotiators” are looking out more for their own interests than those of their lesser paid brethren.
Act 10, however, changed all that. And SPASD administration and members of the school board worked diligently to develop an offer that would earmark roughly one-third of the budgeted $552,392 towards raising the base wage for all entry level teachers. The new starting salary would be raised from $32,505 to $35,000 for a Bachelor’s Degree and $38,000 for a Master’s Degree. 96 SPEA members (roughly 17% of all SPEA members) would see their base wages increased to $35,000.
How could SPEA’s negotiation team argue against such a plan? It’s a no-brainer, right? Raising the floor would allow SPASD to be more competitive and attract the best and brightest teachers to work in the district. And that’s consistent with SPEA’s desires…right?