Thursday, June 2, 2011

Implementing the "CUT" . . .

As we prepare to meet with TEA to discuss how to implement the legislative 1.9% salary cut the more upset I get with them passing the difficult work onto us.  I am sure that they do not understand the complexity of this work nor do I believe that most teachers realize the impact of the cut to their salary. 

Since the cut is to the base salary it obviously impacts every cell on the salary schedule.  It also impacts all other compensation based on the salary schedule base.  In Tahoma this means all stipends, responsibility, and mandatory compensation because they are driven by the base.  What the legislators saw as a simple cut is much more complex.  On top of these concerns we have to determine what this means to the average salary since our negotiated agreement requires that we be at average when compared to seven other districts.

During the negotiation process in Olympia the Governor advocated for a 1.9% cut to teacher salary and not the 3% for administrators and state employees because they had already lost two learning improvement days.  The argument was that the loss of days plus 1.9% equaled the 3% for state employees.  She felt that this was fair.  Does fair mean 1.9% on the salary schedule base, what the legislature did, is the expectation?  Does it mean 1.9% on the base plus all other compensation driven by the base?  I don't believe that she or the legislators were aware of the other components to compensation and how their simple cut would also impact these.

So, now the district gets to identify how to operate on less revenue while maintaining relationship with three bargaining units.  We need to do this with the legislative expectation, supported by many, that all public school staff will experience a cut in pay.  From my Passing the Buck post we know that only teachers at the bottom of a column will experience a cut  because there will still be movement for all others that will offset the base cut.  But, we still must factor in the impact of the other compensation driven by the base to see the net result for all teachers.  Not so simple after all, but the easiest part will be the math.  The most difficult may prove to be the relationship.  How do we determine what fair and equitable means under the current conditions and expectations? 

Little influence on the outcome, but total responsibility for finding and implementing a solution.  Is this fair?

1 comment:

Stacy said...

Fair. Is a word that created havoc. Such a small word, a powerful word. is it fair? Nope, that's just reality.