Saturday, November 15, 2008

Salary value of contemporaneously settled teachers' union contracts in CT

Here is the information that the Council was seeing on Wednesday night:As happens all too often, we got this info at the time of the vote. But between seeing the Middletown contract and hearing the comments from Council members Altieri and Esty, I quickly concluded that a one year contract may be both in the best interest of the town... and something that may get the support of five Council members. But I was wrong.

Tim White


bill said...

A 1 year contract for the teachers, School Supt and Town Manager are in order, that is what needs to be done. The current contracts for Supt & TM are 3 years, that is not right and they always come up for renewal a few months after the local elections.

Anonymous said...

Could you explain the chart?

tim white said...

It represents:

1) recent settled teachers' contracts by town


2) bifurcates the "step" from the "raise"

Union contracts normally include two components. For ease I'll call them:

1) a cost of living adjustment


2) an additional "raise" that is given to anyone who progresses a "step."

A "step" is an achievement of sorts, such as:

1) an additional year of service (only given for the first ten to 15 yrs or something)

2) completing a Master's degree, etc.

I think that's a fair, if incomplete, assessment. And I think the general concept applies to all unions.

Can anyone agree / disagree / expand on my explanation?

tim white said...

As far as I recall, there are no "merit" raises in the contract.

I've spoken with a number of teachers who agree with the concept of merit pay, but I have yet to hear anyone offer an acceptable measurement tool for merit pay.

Anonymous said...

Town of Thompson just gave their teachers 1 yr contract @ 2%

Anonymous said...

Keep in mind that moving up a "step" requires the teacher to complete college courses at a certified institution. It is not a free gift just for remaining employed.

Teachers are required to obtain a Masters Degree at their own expense. Also, To move up to the next Step from a Masters degree requires 30 credits in a planned program. At CCSU this would cost $24,000 in tuition alone (not including books, transportation, etc). This cost is not reimbursed by Cheshire Public Schools, although there are other towns will pay 50% or more.

Are we interested in attracting and retaiing the best teachers? What do we offer in terms of compensation as opposed to surrounding towns? A more useful comparison would be to show what teachers on the same step with the same number of years of service are making in surrounding towns. For example, a teacher with 7 years of service and a Masters degree teaching in Cheshire, Wallingford, Meriden, and Hamden.

Also, that comparison to be made to towns that are in our same DRG. Avon, Fairfield, Farmington, Glastonbury, Greenwich, Madison, Simsbury, West Hartford,Woodbridge.

It is purely prognistication, but I do not feel that the much flawed arbitration process would have produced better results. We have the ability to pay working against us and the other contracts that have been settled are in line with the 3 year agreement proposed in Cheshire. For all the criticism the arbitration process has received, I was suprised our republican councilors wanted to put us through that process again! It was a "no lose" stance for those voting against the contract. If the settlement came back less, they would have been heroes. If it came back more and cost taxpayers more money, plus the legal fees, the arbitration process would have been blamed yet again.

We already know the arbitration process is terrible and frustrating. We received sound advice from Attorney Dugas (who has sat in on more arbitration hearings than anyone on the council has) as to what he felt would happen if we went to arbitration.

After digesting the legal advice and data presented, four councilors thought it wiser to "take a shot" at receiving a better deal through arbitration.