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Archive for Wednesday, April 18, 2012

Teachers ask district for $3,250 pay boost

April 18, 2012

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Teachers in the Lawrence school district would like to see a $3,250 raise next year.

That was the offer made Wednesday night by members of the teachers’ union, the Lawrence Education Association. The union asked that the school district keep in place the one-time, $1,000 bonus given to teachers last year and add another $2,250 to that amount.

David Reber, the union’s lead negotiator, said that salaries in the Lawrence district continue to be lower than those of surrounding districts, such as Blue Valley, Olathe and Shawnee Mission.

“It has been quite some time since there has been significant new money added to the (base salaries),” Reber said.

Last year, the school district agreed to boost teachers’ base salaries by $250 and then add a one-time payment of $1,000.

At the very least, Reber said, the teachers would like to see the $1,000 in their paychecks this year, or else they would be taking a pay cut.

To cover the estimated $3 million needed for the increase, the district can draw upon its special reserve fund, Reber said. The fund, which can be used only for health-related expenses, has a balance of $7.8 million and has grown by $2.7 million in three years.

To provide perspective on how teacher salaries compare with the rest of the world, the negotiating team highlighted the positions on the pay scale below $42,643, the threshold for which a family of four qualifies for the free or reduced lunch program. Currently, one-third of the Lawrence teachers’ salaries fall in this range.

In coming years, Reber said, the union would like to re-examine the teacher pay scale, which is based on a teacher’s level of education and years of service. The scale could be a “little smoother” and not have so many “discrepancies,” he said.

Also Wednesday, the teachers’ negotiating team asked that the district prohibit “bullying of one professional employee by another.” The request was in response to an incident in which a group of teachers attended a meeting and provided feedback, which a district administrator was unhappy with and reported back to the teachers’ principal.

Negotiating team member Elizabeth Gabel said there have been too many incidents where teachers have been reprimanded for giving their opinions and have lost trust with the administration as a result.

“Who do they trust to tell?” Gabel asked. “That is the problem. Who can they trust?”

Members of the district’s negotiating team balked at putting such language in the contract. School board member Bob Byers said it is not the first time he has heard of such a complaint, but no one ever provides the specifics needed to take action. But he agreed discussions need to start about putting a process in place to address such issues.

“It does color negotiations,” Byers said. “It always comes up in some way, shape or form.”

Comments

tbaker 1 year, 12 months ago

So did the teacher's union come to the meeting with charts and graphs and present a briefing illustrating what a great job they are doing raising test scores? Lowering the appalling drop-out rate? Increasing the number of 9th graders that actually graduate on time? Did they illustrate how their per-student costs are producing equal to or greater than academic performance found in similar measures of private school performance? Did they provide a single performance metric to justify a pay increase?

Of course not.

They showed up whining about what teachers get paid in other districts and used that as a basis to fleece more money from the tax payers. They wouldn’t dream of actually putting forth an objective analysis of their actual job performance as the foundation of their argument. (like everyone else in the real world has to do to justify a raise)

They should be paid for performance, or the tax payers should be given the option to take their tax money and spend it on sending their children to a private school that out-performs the public school they are currently forced to use. After all it is about the children, not the teachers union.

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oneeye_wilbur 1 year, 12 months ago

My mother taught, my great aunts taugh, siblings taught and teach, cousins have been teachers and retired, aunts have taught and NEVER did I ever hear them complain about their salary And none of them ever worked in Lawrence and that is a plus and credit to them. Different states, different counties. The Lawrence school district wanting more money is a disgrace and the teachers union is the problem all over the United States. It needs to go. It doesn't say much for the teachers that they cannot get raises on their own worth but depend on a Union led by so called leaders who are making a name for themselves. The last leader in Lawrence embezzled... The teachers in Lawrence should be grateful for a job with the benefits they have. It is a disgrace to the community this constant whining about being poor as teachers as if it is not enough the both in a household work for the district. A good school board would start downsizing the district and cut the budget big time. Will it happen? No. Because , sadly, the teachers and spouses working in the district feel entitled because they have a degree. Pay not good enough? Migrate.

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Apollo Hernandez 1 year, 12 months ago

The sad thing is so many people love Brownback.

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Cogito_Ergo_Es 2 years ago

Sadly, I don't know where the money will come from. While I agree teachers work VERY hard, how do you get blood from a stone? Perhaps the district will step up and show us the real books. But, otherwise, I don't get it. It looks entirely possible that Brownback, who is not a supporter of K-12 education, will kill a bi-partisan bill that would have raised base state aid per pupil, so no help there. The district is talking about adding full-day kindergarten to four more schools, the class sizes are way too high and need to be lowered (as teachers well know!), and they decided not to close anymore schools (good thing). You don't have Wakarusa Valley to kick around any more, so now what?

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Mike Ford 2 years ago

I once walked into the Lawrence Wal-Mart with my mom and a young women in her twenties was working in the auto department. She saw my mom and told her the positive effect my mom had on her as a 2nd grade teacher. One of my views on home schooling is that people who are against multi cultural schools and secular science who harbor some sense of intolerence based in religious dogma retreat to home schooling. I was both a ministers and teacher's kid so I witnessed this firsthand. Secondly, schools who don't deal with learning issues and bullies drive parents to homeschool their kids. Also, the majority views of minority history mean white washed views of history and culture. None of the indigenous history I mention on here was taught to me in any public school and barely taught to me in college. I've spent almost twenty years learning what I know on my own for the most part with good mentors.

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booyalab 2 years ago

It's strange how much teachers apparently hate their jobs and yet homeschooling is becoming much more popular, even though parents lose money on the endeavor. The truth is that in public school the quality of teachers is a crapshoot. Parents are increasingly recognizing that they care more than the average teacher about their kids' education. It makes sense. The classroom is an assembly line at best. More typically, it's a sociological laboratory or the teacher's dreary obligation.

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Mike Ford 2 years ago

my mom was a teacher, my mom was overworked, my mom was underpaid, and your america is the one on the verge of taking this country into even dumber places than it went during reagan.

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Mike Ford 2 years ago

spoken like A TRUE heartless uneducated conservative troll....I hope you have to travel 1000 miles to bury your mother some day.

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Mike Ford 2 years ago

My late mother taught 2nd grade at McLouth for seven years. Due to the value of tenure my mother travelled from near Emporia to McLouth to keep a paycheck. She got a job as a librarian in Emporia due to her masters degree from KSU in library science. The greedlicans there didn't pass a LOB in the early 1990's and her decade of work and masters degree were discounted by people who sound like some of our simpleton conservatives on here. She managed to get on as a librarian at Burlington for a number of years. However, she had a principal who played teachers against librarian for machiavellian fun and this and a divorce led her to a underperforming school in Pensacola Florida that was damaged considerably by Hurricane Ivan. Distracted by schools pushing standardized tests instead of actual learning and working from 7am to 5pm doing much work off the clock as the school and disconnected tax payers wanted and playing parent to underraised children was not rewarding. Neither was taking an off the books job at a thrift shop to supplement her income and clothe her relatives after they lost everything in Hurricane Katrina in Mississippi. Sadly to say the distraction and the disconnected education haters took their toll. My mother was distracted by overwork when she blew a stop sign off an interstate exit and was killed instantly by another driver much like the distracted teacher in Baldwin who pulled out in front of a quarry truck and was killed instantly a couple of years ago south of Lawrence. It is dishartening to hear some of the simpletons on here attack teachers but that's what simpletons do. They have no idea what it takes to teach between testing, principal and district politics and disconnected archie bunkers all of this should take the rewarding feeling of teaching kids away but somehow my mom maintained diligence in her work. This should put a face on teachers who work themselves to the bone to be attacked by AM radio dunces, Wisconsin governers, and archie bunkers. You're welcome.

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cowboy 2 years ago

I would invite any of the above critics to go volunteer at your local school for a day. I interned at a school back when I was in my twenties and it flat wore me out.

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Richard Heckler 2 years ago

I say give the teachers a raise absolutely!

"Also Wednesday, the teachers’ negotiating team asked that the district prohibit “bullying of one professional employee by another.” The request was in response to an incident in which a group of teachers attended a meeting and provided feedback, which a district administrator was unhappy with and reported back to the teachers’ principal.

Negotiating team member Elizabeth Gabel said there have been too many incidents where teachers have been reprimanded for giving their opinions and have lost trust with the administration as a result.

“Who do they trust to tell?” Gabel asked. “That is the problem. Who can they trust?”

Members of the district’s negotiating team balked at putting such language in the contract."

Find out who that "administrator" is/was and terminate the individual(s)! Damn right!

City workers are encouraged NOT to express their opinions on local matters and certainly not at the city commission meetings. That's the rumor which could be true considering none show up to raise hell about neigborhood issues.

Kinda like the GOP. If a GOP person disagrees with Brownback or GOP presidents big money shows up to oust those thinkers. Which explains why the GOP is dead.

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pace 2 years ago

I hope they get their raise.

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Timothy Eugene 2 years ago

"Also Wednesday, the teachers’ negotiating team asked that the district prohibit “bullying of one professional employee by another.” The request was in response to an incident in which a group of teachers attended a meeting and provided feedback, which a district administrator was unhappy with and reported back to the teachers’ principal.

Negotiating team member Elizabeth Gabel said there have been too many incidents where teachers have been reprimanded for giving their opinions and have lost trust with the administration as a result.

Members of the district’s negotiating team balked at putting such language in the contract."

LOLOLOLOLOLOLOLOLOLOLOLOLOLOLOLOLOL....................

Well, duh! This is Lawrence.........some teachers have even lost their jobs for having an opnion.

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rockchalk1977 2 years ago

How about a performance-based merit raise like employees in the real world?

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kseagle 2 years ago

How about working full days on Wednesdays??? Then the raise would be justified. But until then the answer is NO. Now get back to work!

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justanotherface 2 years ago

For all the time off each year that teachers get, I just hate hearing them complain about not getting a pay raise. If they want more $, they should get a summer job.

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Alceste 2 years ago

Tie teacher pay raises for Douglas County/Lawrence to the same pay raise state of Kansas workers receive. Match it. No more. No less. Let's see how the teachers fare, eh? They've certainly NEVER shown ANY union solidarity with state workers over the past many, many years. Not once.

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edmclinn 2 years ago

I say give them 10,000 raise, but require higher standards for teachers and education. Unless your just opposed to giving a child the best possible education.

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nekansan 2 years ago

That is the problem, the best teachers do go somewhere else because of the better opportunities. Lawrence is a great community but the days of relying on our unique culture to retain people are over. We must be competitive in the marketplace and work to attract the best educators in the region.

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FalseHopeNoChange 2 years ago

"Government union teachers" have done such a good job over the years.

Look at society today. Look at what they have "molded". They have done a wonderful job.

Give them whatever they want. What's a few bucks.

Besides, It beats them "rioting" in the streets like their "molded" OWS pupils have.

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Flap Doodle 2 years ago

How's that hopenchange working out for you?

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Cant_have_it_both_ways 2 years ago

If the money is sooooo good somewhere else, then why the hell are you still here. You hold all the cards. Sell your house, move to where the money is better and we will replace you.

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LogicMan 2 years ago

“It has been quite some time since there has been significant new money added to the (base salaries),”

Well, welcome to the Great Recession.

You are burning any goodwill you have left with the stressed out public by demanding such a huge increase.

But let's hope the economy recovers, and we can once again invest in the future.

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