Monday, February 18, 2013

A raise it is…

After a year and a half of contentious negotiations, the teachers of Ukiah Unified have a raise in salary.  Ok, more like many years of contentious negotiations but who’s counting? 

Before you get all “A RAISE IS AN ABOMINATION AT THIS ECONOMIC POINT”, please understand that I totally support it.   You might say “of course you would you selfish bastard”, except that if you go back and read previous blog posts you’ll find that I’m actually very tempered in my opinion on raises.  I don’t jump out of the chair and scream at the top of my lungs when times are tough and we need to start being fiscal conservatives.  This was not one of those times.  I won’t get into it because that would not be a good vent to have on this blog.  Just realize this needed to happen. 

But it just wouldn’t be me not to have some complaint about something revolving around the world of education, even a raise.

“……starting salary will be $40,000, and the highest is now $77, 432, with 25 steps in between. Previously, the salaries began at about $36,000 and ended at $71,000.

"Our goal is to create a salary schedule that allows people to retire when they're ready, and also allows us to attract new teachers," she said (District Super Debra Kubin), adding that the agreement has "retirement incentives to motivate those who are getting ready to retire."

The first incentive is a cash payment of $20,000, paid over two years, to teachers who agree to retire this year by March 8, according to the joint report prepared by the UUSD and UTA. The second incentive is a $10,000 cash payment to teachers announcing”

I think the forty grand at the beginning of the spectrum had to happen.  You might think that rural Mendocino County is cheap, and you would be wrong.  Rent here is high, and fuel and food costs are rising at a very strong rate.  We might be rural but we are a rural Northern California wine growing area that even in a recession has pretty significant land value. 

Notice also the top of the pay scale got a nice bump, plus a little something extra for those that decide to bolt, which if you listened to many teachers lately, seemed like quite a bit from the stink many near-retirees were making.  So the bottom got some, the top got some more.  The rest of the middle?

We got less.  Somewhat less than the first years (which I’m ok with) and quite a bit less than the top enders.  The idea is that if you pad the top of the salary schedule that it will (with the incentive package) provide the necessary push out the door and thus help pay for future district programs.  Even more interesting, the entire teacher raise agreement is based on a certain number of teachers retiring.  So who is going first?

*crickets*

Oh cool.  Well if the raise doesn’t go through because not enough people retire, the vast majority of the rest of the staff is going to have to go through this all over again, only this time there might be physical incentives to people to get out the door, not just financial. 

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