Former US Speaker of the House Tip O’Neal (D-MA) famously said of national politics “ALL politics is local”. Early in ‘Grok history, we turned that around to “Politics: if it is happening here, it’s happening in your town, too” as we described some of the political machinations of our little hamlet and surrounding areas. I’ve been blogging about Windham’s School Board (hi Rob Breton, Dennis Senibaldi!) for a bit now over their ramming of their Transgender policy down the conservative throats of the residents there – making transgender kids, a la the Democrat / Progressive / Socialist methods, a protected political class and wiping out any vestige of the Normal kids’ privacy rights. Oh, they wrap it up in such delicate, smooth talking language but as I pointed out earlier, they then threaten anyone in the District that doesn’t toe their line about coerced speech. More on that later.
So in the latest “contract” with the Windham School Board, the older, more experienced, and RICHER teachers decided to shive their younger, less experienced, and poorer teachers by grabbing all of the cash of the newest and bloated teachers contract.
Sidenote: That same group of adults (writ large) always couches their arguments in saying “it’s for the children” as if that covers all the holes in all of their arguments. It is but one of the Political Correctness Sledgehammers that the Left uses to silence dissent of all kinds because that Sledgehammer comes smacking down into their PC Anvil if you even DARE to disagree called “What, you HATE CHILDREN??”. It’s what they say when
they have no real argument and the proper response to it should be a rousing round of “HAHAHAHAHAHA!” followed by a chorus of “Up Yours” (yes, I had enough of these undignified louts with the holier-than-thou Progressive self-righteousness moral preening). They expect that you will politely be quiet, put your head between your knees and go cowering out the door. Turn the table folks – stop fighting using the Marquis of Queensberry rules and go full MMA / Krav Maga on their backsides. But I digress.
From a Conservative member of the School Board that wishes to point out how the School Board and WEA leadership combined to screw over the lesser paid teachers; it is good to be the Kings and Queens (or whatever the proper pronoun according to what the SB policy JBAB demands that I should be using – like I said, ‘Up Yours” you haters of the Free Speech!).
BTW, you Traditional Normals in Windham – he’s running for reelection. If you want a voice of sanity and stop this PC madness, you ought to vote for him!
Everyone else, read through this – if this is happening there, it very well could be happening in your town, too! Remember, it isn’t for the children – it’s really for the adults (I know, I’m on my town’s Budget Committee and I’ve read our contract too!). Find out what the median income level is for your town and then match it up against what the teachers are making – you may well be rather unhappy at the end of the exercise. After all, how much did YOUR income go up this past year? Why should government workers get better raises than the people paying their salaries?
WINDHAM TEACHER CONTRACT: EXPERIENCE vs. COLA
Our Teacher’s Collective Bargaining Agreement (CBA) is based on proper, market driven compensation for experience, as well as appropriate cost of living adjustments throughout the course of employment. These are two different forms of compensation that must not be commingled.
Salaries in every profession are based on experience. For example, a first year lawyer (or any other professional) will not demand the same salary as a 15 year seasoned veteran. The same is true for teachers. And as with every profession, there is a maximum ceiling regarding what the market will pay.
In the teaching profession, wages are pre-determined in a “Salary Schedule” table. Each “Step” in the table represents another year of experience – and therefore an increase in salary. In Windham, there are 15 Steps to compensate for experience between 1 – 15+ years. Every year, every teacher advances to the next Step on the Salary Schedule to compensate for their additional year of experience – until they hit the top Step.
For School Districts to be successful, it is imperative for the Salary Schedule to be adjusted upwards to compensate for inflation to remain competitive for every level of experience – in order to continually attract the best and brightest teachers at every level. The inflation adjustments are referred to as Cost of Living Adjustments – or COLA.
Cost of Living Adjustments (COLA) are negotiated with each CBA to offset rising inflation.
COLA adjustments were historically applied evenly to every Step in the Salary Schedule to offset inflation AND keep the district competitive. This equitable approach to evenly distribute COLA raises to all Steps helped maintain the district’s ability to attract energetic and talented teachers at all levels when replacing retiring teachers. Unfortunately, that changed in 2014.
In addition to their salaries, Windham teachers also receive “longevity” pay, based on 11+, 16+ and 21+ years of service with the district. The amount of all “longevity” pay will be increased by another $250 with the proposed contract to $1,750, $2,250, and $2,750 respectively.
Hey readers, how many of you get “Longevity” pay in your private sector jobs (and no, a bowl or plaque doesn’t count)?
Now for the outrageous parts – I’ve added some emphasis to that already given by the writer:
In Windham, the teachers union (WEA) negotiates the wages and contractual obligations for all of our teachers.
The 2008 contract fairly and evenly distributed a 3% COLA adjustment across every step for each year of a three year contract (see graph above).
A new contract was not approved until 2014. That two year contract began a disturbing trend that provided no COLA adjustments to Steps 1 – 13. Instead, the WEA negotiators created two additional Steps at the top of Salary Schedule; Step 14 in yr. 1, and Step 15 in yr. 2 – and thereby ensured a raise for themselves at the expense of no COLA adjustments for the lower Steps (see graph above). The agreement not only reduced the district’s competitive appeal to attract the best and brightest from amongst potential teachers, but to retain them as well.
So with this, the older and richer teachers told the new and upcoming crop of child nurturers “screw you” – we got ours. Hey, isn’t that what unions are always saying what capitalism devolves to when talking about the rich? Nice to see the hypocrisy once you bring a Big Flashlight to bear – and the Windham School Board (yes, that would be led by Rob Breton and Dennis Senibaldi – who have proved THEY HATE YOUNGER TEACHERS TOO!) went along with it.
In 2016, the top step teachers (those at the negotiating table) again received a disproportionate COLA adjustment. This time, Steps 1-13 received a small 1% increase, Step 14 received a 2.8% increase, and Step 15 (those negotiating) received a whopping 4.7% increase (see graph above).
Once could be an accident – twice is collusion.
This year’s contract proposal ignores yet again those teachers who are not at the top of the Salary Schedule (and who are also not represented at the negotiating table). If it is approved by voters, only the top Step will receive a 2% COLA in each year of the two year contract. Even more importantly, the financial appeal for current and future teachers (at lower Steps) to work in the Windham School District will be reduced EVEN FURTHER.
This is an unsustainable trend. The negotiators at the table for the Windham School Board and the WEA have done a disservice to our district – and more importantly… to our children. And it is all about the children, isn’t it?
Windham School Board Member/Candidate
No Tom, it isn’t about the children. This proves the habitual lying of teachers unions that it is,though (look at what’s happening down in West Virginia where government school teachers are holding the kids there as financial hostages and political pawns demanding raises that would totally outstrip anything in the private sector).
And the leaders of the Windham School Board have gone along with this.
So WHY do you think I’ve said to vote for Tom Murray?