The recent Sun Sentinel article about teacher pay is a joke, right?

“In Broward schools some grass cutters and stock clerks earn more than veteran teachers.”

Can it really take an article from a “newspaper” to tell the public what I’ve been saying for years on end?

The problem is not “teacher pay” at all, it’s unequal distribution of funded raises and has been all along.

I may very well have bones to pick with the various unions that represent the district, but for the most part, those bargaining units represent their members well.

All except one.  BTU.

While it’s a “me too” world when it comes to raises, it isn’t the case when raises are distributed to the membership.

BTU is the chief negotiator when the subject of raises and other benefits comes along.

Even though there haven’t been any raises in the last three years, historically, teacher raises have ranged from 3% to 6.5%.

And because of the “me too” clauses in the contracts of other bargaining units, they’ve gotten the same percentages.

Only teachers never get those percentages.

BTU’s “step scale” is very specific as to what kind of raises were given to specific years of experience.

$295 per year in the third year and $9,000 in the 19th year.

Those numbers may change year to year, but the magnitudes remain the same.

So it’s no surprise that grass cutters and stock clerks earn more than many veteran teachers.

But don’t look to the district for fault, look at BTU.

Look at it another way:

If the district started growing money trees right now, there would be no difference, especially this year with gasoline and food prices rising drastically.

There’s one and only one way to fix the problem.

If the district funds the “limited” raises with $30 million, then damn the step scale and increase the salary of each of the 17,000 teachers by $1,764.00.

It’s way past time to delete the step scale from the contract.

No negotiation.  No concessions.  Nothing.

And yes, it’s very well worth an impasse.

But it won’t come to that since effectively there is no contract.

The Board can simply impose that condition for raises.

The teachers under step 17 will be grateful to be finally start being paid a living wage.

And to be frank; those above step 17 who can’t accept fairness for their co-workers, can do the district a favor and find employment elsewhere.

The district will save millions while hiring new teachers with real fire in their bellies.

Fire that won’t be extinguished by year upon year of slave wages.

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