The Seattle Times' latest story on the strike provides some real numbers on the salary offer for teachers and I hope they illuminate the issue.
- Wants 5% raise this school year
- 5.5% 2016-2017
- 4.8% over the next two years from state (remembering that the state-funded amount is about 75% of teachers' salaries) for a COLA
( I can't seem to find what the SEA wants for 2017-2018; I think it's about 3.5%.)
- 2% this school year
- 3.2% the year after
- 4% in 2017-2018
- plus state COLA
Teachers did not get a COLA for the last 6 years even though there was an 2000 initiative requiring the Legislature to do that.
They also lost ground over the rising costs of healthcare.
And it does come down to the district. The state didn’t raise its
base pay – stuck at $34,048 for a starting teacher – for six years. The
state finally raised the base pay by 2 percent this summer.
teachers bargain with their districts for raises and money on top of the
base. They would be doing this even if the state did raise its base,
Wood said, which means salaries have increased at a sluggish pace.
extra money is usually called TRI pay, for time, responsibility and
incentive. Some districts give teachers that extra money without strings
attached. Others demand that teachers work or take classes during the
summer to earn that extra amount. Unions call that “more pay for more