BTU wants raises for its members.

Ah, but here’s the catch:

Sadly, Notter’s proposal that would provide the district’s education professionals with a salary schedule step increase retroactive to January 2011″

Half a year would yield half a step.

Step?  What’s that?

It’s an archaic system that treats junior teachers like slaves and permits teacher unions to publicly protest that their teachers are underpaid.

Most of them are.

Only it’s the union that’s making it happen, not the taxpayer.

The reality is that top scale for teachers in Broward County is anywhere between $72,000 and $92,000 per year depending on the “extras” such as specialized certification and Master’s and Doctorate degrees.

Hardly underpaid, and it’s something the union just doesn’t want you to know.

It kind of spoils the concept of underpaid teachers.

The union wants you to believe it’s the School Board and (you) the cheapskate taxpayer keeping all teachers at slave wages.

Unfortunately in Broward County, a teacher needs to work 20 years before they can begin approaching those living wages.

It takes that long before the “step” scale provides teachers raises of more than $1,000 per year (and a whole lot less in years 1 – 10.)

The step scale that keeps younger teachers at poverty wages is a sole construct of the union.

And so without a contract for two years now, the union is demanding a “step” raise rather than a flat percentage raise.

Or half a step in this case.

What it means is those moving from step 2 to step 4 would get a whole $147.50 rather than the really “generous” $295 for a full year’s step.

Those moving to step 21 would get $4,500 rather than $9,000.

Huh?  The union President is advocating that underpaid teachers get a $147.50 per year raise??

You bet!  So let those numbers sink in for a moment.

Pat Santeramo cares nothing about teachers with less than 20 years under their collective belts.

What the district is offering is $26 million for 16,000 teachers.

The fair distribution of that $26 million would be $1,625 for each teacher.

But BTU just isn’t interested in fair distribution and never has been.

Neither is BTU interested in helping fund raises by giving up some benefits.

In this case, two benefits.

A $300 “cafeteria” benefit which individual teachers can use to purchase any additional benefits.

It’s free money.

And the other would be to have all high schools on a single schedule.

Both unacceptable according to the union.

The good news is that there is no contract.  The last one expired in 2009 and the union’s reluctance to move forward with negotiations (take, take, take, but give back nothing) is the reason.

The Board needs to grow a set of gonads, change the schedules, delete the cafeteria benefit and change payroll rates to add the new salary schedule to teachers.