Teachers at the Iroquois School District, eyeing annual raises as high as 8 percent, are suggesting the district hold a “yard sale” to sell old equipment, switch to a four-day workweek, or curtail use of substitute teachers. “But a wage cut or freeze is not among their ideas,” reports the Buffalo News (here).

School Board President Susan Brenner noted that residents have complained that teachers are still getting salary increases annually while members in the community have had none or have lost their jobs. “It’s difficult to swallow,” Brenner said. “If the community saw a freeze, it might be more supportive.”

Chris Wilckens, president of the Iroquois Teachers Association, said none of the teachers surveyed offered a wage freeze as a money-saving option.

Brenner said she wondered if the teachers might feel differently if jobs were lost or if classroom sizes swelled to 30 students. [School Trustee Suzanne] Wolff concurred that feedback has been sharp on the salary front. “That’s what I’m getting asked most: is Neil [Rochelle, Iroquois superintendent] ready to take a pay cut? Are the teachers?” Wolff asked.

Teachers in the western New York district are due for sizeable pay hikes in the coming school year, according to PPW’s analysis of the their union contract posted on SeethroughNY.net. Among those with master’s degrees, the smallest percentage raise goes to teachers moving from step 1 to 2, an increase of 3.2 percent. As teachers move up the 24-step ladder, the percentage increases get higher. For example:

  • A teacher now earning $51,500 (step 10) will make a base salary of $54,000 (step 11) during the ’10-’11 school year, an increase of $2,500, or 4.9 percent.
  • A teacher now earning $63,000 (step15) will make a base salary of $67,500 (step 16) next year, an increase of $4,500 or 7.1 percent.
  • A teacher now earning $76,750 (step 20) will make a base salary of $83,050 (step 21), an increase of $6,300, or 8.2 percent.

Last week, the Empire Center posted salaries of 262,000 public school teachers and administrators for the ’08-’09 school year on SeeThroughNY.net.The site also has teacher and school superintendent contracts for 733 school districts and BOCES districts.

Originally Published: NY Public Payroll Watch

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