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July 30, 2014

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Teacher pays for advanced education only to face possible pay cut

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Christopher DeVargas

Andrew Slocum and his wife Natalie, both teachers at Greenspun Middle School, are upset CCSD will not honor education increases under a new contract being arbitrated in courts, Tuesday April 16, 2012.

Andrew Slocum: CCSD Teacher

Andrew Slocum, a teacher at Greenspun Middle School, is upset CCSD will not honor education increases under a new contract being arbitrated in courts, Tuesday April 16, 2012. He will be stuck with $10,000 in students loans for additional certification if the district wins its arbitration battle with it's teachers union. Launch slideshow »

These days, Andrew Slocum feels duped by the system to which he has devoted his entire life’s work.

Last year, the Greenspun Junior High librarian shelled out nearly $10,000 on an advanced teaching certificate to further his career.

Slocum scrimped and saved — forgoing vacations and even borrowing money from his in-laws and his 4-year-old son’s college fund — to complete the Center for Teaching Excellence’s continuing education program.

Completion of the courses qualified Slocum, 37, for an “education increase” of about $3,000 under a contract between the Clark County School District and its teachers union.

However, that raise may be revoked if an arbitrator sides with the district in its nearly yearlong contract dispute with teachers. Facing nearly $64 million in budget cuts, the district has asked teachers to give up raises for earning master’s and other advanced teaching certificates.

About 2,180 teachers — or about 12 percent of the district’s teachers — would be affected by this potential concession, their raises gradually and retroactively retracted from their paychecks in the coming months.

But teachers also face a “double-whammy,” Slocum said. Not only will their raises be retracted, but teachers also would be saddled with thousands of dollars of student loan debt in pursuit of a degree or certificate that didn’t pan out financially.

“I feel betrayed and sad they’re going back on their promise to us,” Slocum said. “A lot of us took that bait, and now we’re in a lot of trouble.”

•••

When Slocum moved from his native New York to Las Vegas in 1997, it was a completely different era.

Las Vegas was one of the nation’s fastest-growing regions and the district was bursting at the seams. As its population nearly doubled, Clark County scrambled to build more than 100 new schools and attract thousands of teachers to address the massive influx of students.

Slocum was just one of many teachers heavily recruited to Las Vegas.

“I was really happy for the opportunity to teach here,” Slocum said. “I felt like I could make a difference.”

Slocum started at a $27,000 base salary. To move up the pay scale, Slocum knew he needed to bide his time and further his education.

After 14 years with the district and earning his master’s degree in arts education, Slocum commanded a $60,000 base salary at the start of the 2010-2011 school year. To continue moving up, Slocum had one option: to earn an advanced teaching certificate through the Center for Teaching Excellence.

The center was founded in 2006 after a memorandum of understanding between the School District and the Clark County Education Association. Originally union affiliated, the center was created to increase the supply of highly qualified teachers in the district.

Operating like Expedia.com, the Center for Teaching Excellence would connect teachers with accredited colleges with teaching programs. Teachers would get a bulk discount for taking these courses through the center, and they would be rewarded with higher compensation for completing them.

Slocum dished out $9,900 for three courses, spending more than 500 hours outside of work to earn 54 CTE credits. For completing the program, Slocum’s base salary was raised $3,146 this school year.

However, as the school year started, Slocum was notified that the district was considering freezing salary step and education increases. Slocum was stunned.

He would be losing about $800 in step and about $3,100 in education increases. His wife, Natalie — a Greenspun eighth-grade science teacher who makes $38,652 a year — would give up a $1,500 step increase.

And because of the way the district’s pay scale operates, lost wages from the salary freeze would be compounded for the rest of their careers, Slocum said. He reckons his family would be losing $60,000 over the course of their careers.

“I understand the district is in a tough situation and sacrifices have to be made,” he said “But at least they could have sent out an email warning us they were going to do this retroactively, or at least grandfather people in. Anything that’s more fair than this.”

•••

Slocum, visibly upset, aired his grievances at a recent School Board meeting. He talked of his sacrifices: vacations, hard-earned cash and perhaps the most valuable — time with family and friends.

All of it was for naught, Slocum said. Although he received his education raise this school year per the district contract, Slocum said he’s been wary about spending any of it. Instead, he’s been saving it, just in case he’d have to give it back.

Slocum is still saddled with $25,000 in student loan debt from his undergraduate and master’s degrees. He’s underwater on his $200,000 home. The salary step and education raises would have given him some breathing room in his already-tight budget, Slocum said.

“This is the first time I’ve felt embarrassed to be a teacher because I have to beg for the salary I deserve,” he said, addressing School Board members.

As hundreds of teachers like him sit in limbo waiting for the arbitration decision, lives are being placed on hold, Slocum said. His plans for a second child are being postponed. His wife is putting off getting a master’s degree in counseling.

“We’re very confused and very scared,” Slocum said. “We love the School District, but we feel so betrayed now. We’ve given everything to this district.”

Staci Vesneske, the district’s chief human resources director, said teachers were warned over the summer about the possibility the district would not honor education increases. By fall 2011, the union had informed its members, as well.

Everyone has had to make sacrifices, Vesneske said. Because salaries and benefits account for nearly 90 percent of all district expenditures, that’s where some of the cuts will have to come from, she said.

“I understand the frustration teachers feel, but I also understand the frustration the district feels when faced with our terrible budget situation,” Vesneske said, noting the district has cut more than $535 million from its budget since 2007.

When the economy rebounds, Vesneske said the district hopes to unfreeze salary step and education increases. At that time, the 2,000 teachers who earned master’s degrees or advanced certificates last year once again would receive their raises, she said.

“We all believe teachers deserve to be paid more,” Vesneske continued. “I know how hard this is, and we know teachers are disappointed, but this is what’s best for our students at this time.”

•••

Slocum doesn’t buy it.

As the district contemplates expanding its technology budget by $65 million, asking voters for a $5.3 billion capital program and ramping up professional development and new reforms, Slocum says he sees a lot of money spent on things other than teachers.

“We see money spent in a lot of other areas besides salaries,” he said. “I don’t believe they don’t have the money.”

Natalie Slocum agreed.

“There’re a lot of mixed signals,” she said. “They’re basically penalizing us for pursuing higher education. What kind of message does that send to the kids?”

As the arbitration decision looms, teachers understand they’re in a lose-lose proposition, Andrew Slocum said.

If the district wins, teachers would lose their salary step and education increases — and some of them would be left hanging with thousands of dollars in additional student debt.

If the union wins, nearly 1,400 teachers may lose their jobs as the district struggles to find a way to balance its budget.

Regardless, the Slocums said they planned to continue working hard for their students.

“We love our jobs; we love our work,” Natalie Slocum said. “I can’t imagine doing anything else. But this makes it harder and harder to enjoy what I do.”

Teachers aren’t opposed to the district, Andrew Slocum said. They want students to succeed, but they also want to be compensated fairly and for the district to uphold its promises, he said.

“They should have known they didn’t have the money. They should have told us before I took these classes,” he said. “The budget is, of course, a numbers issue, but in reality, it’s a people issue. I hope the (School Board) considers its people first: teachers and students.”

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  1. How would advanced training help a junior high school librarian do a better job for the students?

    The question is not why is this perk leaving, but why was it instituted to begin with.

    Paying teachers for a Master's Degree in history may make sense at a college, paying a teacher more for every certificate they may accumulate to continue teaching 3rd grade math is ridiculous. Three plus three hasn't changed since this country was founded. Pretending it has changed is the problem.

  2. This is just wrong on so many levels that our teachers are treated like this. And it is wrong that the community turns a blind eye to this problem. Teachers need to remain focused on the improvement of the students, and not worry if they will earn enough money to enjoy a small degree of success.

    Many people want to blame the union(s), but my question is, how good is the union if they only earn $60,000/year with all that education, experience and qualifications and now they may have to pay some of that back?

    We have people working with the Water District with only a GED instead of a high school diploma and they earn 50K plus a pension! Nevada Power rate increase, No Problem!

    This shouldn't even be an issue that these teachers need to worry about. Ruining morale and not providing incentives will not improve the performance of the school district. Think about it? How would you feel? Would you do a job like that for $60,000/year when you had a Masters degree or a Doctorate?

    I could see if he was earning $170,000/year, but $60k, seriously???

    Do you think the kids don't see this and think what a waste of time it is to get an education, I can work at a hotel or a strip club and make more than that without the hassle. Then they turn 40, get laid off, and have no education to fall back on. Then it's on the government dole. Not quite a shining example of what Las Vegas thinks of it's children, and those entrusted with the responsibility of educating them.

    Enough Already.

  3. A contract is a contract, a legal and binding instrument. Those who were hired with certain terms in their contracts, should expect those terms to be HONORED!

    Now, should that contract be changed, then those who were not a party of the previous contract should be hired under the terms of the new contract that reflects the changes, and they should be made aware of the difference between the two, and consider IF they are willing to abide with such terms.

    Before making any career decision, workers need to be thoughtful about the terms of employment.

    Citizens are responsible for electing and keeping members of the School Board in their positions. Citizens are responsible for the quality of education in their community. When companies look at Clark County for relocation, they look at the quality and quanity of education.

    What message is being sent, when folks hear that a public institution can openly breech employment contracts???

    Such a message would have a profound, rippling, and crippling effect upon ALL of Clark County and even Nevada. Future businesses would avoid Nevada, and All of Nevada would begin to see a "flight" of good, decent, productive citizens leaving this state for better working conditions.

    This is not so much a "union/association" thing, as it is in making the School Board accountable for all the past planning affecting the present, and for planning the future of the school district. Has it been good, solid, thinking and planning, or has it been flawed, and now the chickens are coming home to roost with the accumulated outcomes of such decisions of district decision makers?

    Blessings and Peace,
    Star

  4. Hey Slocum, ask me how my self-financed Master of Arts in Economics from a top University has benefited me...go ahead, ask me what my plans were...go ahead, ask...sorry about your plight, but uhm, er, uhm, that's the way it works...you take risks...some are rewarded, some aren't...good luck...Purgatory

  5. This is a sad story. I would ask you to check with the union rep and see how much education he/she has and what kind of cut they are taking. Remember, all the families that are sending kids to school, most are upside down in their homes,a lot are struggling to make ends meet, and I dare say, there are darn few that would cry to the public because they can't make ends meet with a $100,000 household income. (Forty years here, starting teacher was around $10,000 p/yr, union steward$20,000. Check the salary list today for your union.) Remember, they take theirs first, then check the layers of unions. Sir: Put me on record, I want teachers to make more than any State worker, but at a time when home schooled kids win most competitions, I would rather my taxes go to protect my delightful firemen and policemen, and I will tell you this...I would struggle even giving those classes of people a cup of coffee. We, the tax payer citizen have been fleeced enough.

  6. So the only reason this teacher took additional classes was to make more money?

    There goes the teachers don't do the job for money bit.

    Also, since teachers are so committed to educating regardless of the wage scale shouldn't someone like the man in this article have the underlying motive to take additional course work to become a better instructor and teacher, not just for a money grab?

    It always seems to me like teachers want to have it both ways - it's either for the kids or it's for the money / make your choice.

  7. It's supposed to be about the STUDENTS. Nevada: 51st in results despite dumping money into K-12 since Governor Guinn doubled taxes to pay for it.

  8. Lamy...I am not sure what point you were making...however, to assist you...I was being satirical...my MA Econ cost me much more than it was worth...my point is, investments sometimes turn out well...sometimes they don't...that's how it works AND I would never advocate changing the system because a Middle School Librarian feels duped...Purgatory

  9. Slocum's situation is a sad song played in a lot of homes. We're all underwater; we've all had wage losses because no money exists for deserved and promised raises; current wages don't keep up with the COLA for anybody. Am I supposed to feel sorry for Slocum because I am, technically, his employer? Well, I do. I feel sorry for all of us in this economy.

    Paul, is this part of a series of heartstring-pulling stories on the economic downturn? ;) If so, I hope you've included non-public employees. We can't pay teachers more when we don't have the money ourselves.

  10. We all love teachers. They are important. But, I'm not sure the current financial woes are worthy of the attention demanded.

    I understand the disappointment felt. You plan and work and things may not happen exactly as hoped. Well, welcome to life. What concerns me most is these folks feeling of entitlement, as if the world revolves around them. I won't bore anyone with the numerous direct comparisons of worse inequities forced upon some whom are more deserving, everyone has those stories. Suffice it to say that we all know one of the reasons why this couple are both employed in education is that they saw it as a good deal and that the move to Vegas was because the system was wide open. I don't fault the desire to take advantage of opportunities when they present themselves, I do fault their apparent self justification that they should be at the head of the line for scarce resources.

    When the taxpayers are continually asked for more money for education and continually told when they hesitate that we don't care about our kids we know it's really about money for teachers, administrators and staffs compensation packages. After all, millions of well educated folks with advanced skills and knowledge are still alive and productive today who when through a system with no air conditioning, no technologically superior training and visual aids, without the latest text books, without computer labs, terrific libraries and taught by teachers whom were paid much less even in todays dollars.

    Yes, I understand their disappointment at plans gone awry and the inconvenience it may cause, but lets not pretend that at that salary and benefits level that the whole world will collapse if we all don't jump up and down until these folks get what they think they deserve. If that's the case I can offer a list of folks who do more, earn less and whine less that should have head of the line privileges.

  11. The question that people need to look at and think about is how are we going to attract the high tech jobs to diversify the economy if we don't have a good educational system? When was the last time parents talked to their kids about the importance of education? Do parents know their kids teacher's names? Do parents know the difference between a diploma and a certificate of attendence? Remember a few years ago when CCSD was having a hard time recruiting teachers to fill all of the new schools that were being built because of the population boom. What would attact a teacher to come to CCSD now?

  12. Mr. Swanson,

    Perfectly stated...well done!

    Regards
    Purgatory

  13. Why do folks think it is ok for the CCSD to not honor their contract? They same folks that think this is ok are probably the same ones who railed against those underwater in their homes and chose to walk away, not honoring their contracts.
    When I have a contract with someone I expect that to be honored. If taxes need to be raised, then raise them. Do not make promises and then walk away.

  14. Typical leftist BS! Upon arriving in LV in 1987, I opened a business by investing the money I made "back East." Within six months I had to sell for a loss. I lost far more than 10,000 bucks but did not whine about it. I took my licking and set out looking for a different way of making an honest living and did just that for the next 24 years. Slocum ought to know that nothing in life is guaranteed besides death & taxes. But, because of the left, today's cry-babies feel "entitled" to anything they believe they want, even if that's merely a pipe dream. Man up, Slocum! Get on with your life!

  15. Being paid via education level is a public sector concept. It's a poor metric for job performance.

  16. Hey, FINK...

    Your tale of woe
    has NO BEARING on the matter in question.
    You are just being argumentative and disparaging
    FOR THE SAKE OF BEING argumentative and disparaging.
    Why you do like that???

    This is a simple matter of contractual obligation.
    CCSD (like other public employment sectors, to be sure) have decided to say to it's employee(s);
    SCREW YOU.
    That 'contract' of yours is not worth the paper it's printed on.

  17. I am a state employee in my third consecutive year of pay and benefit cuts. I get nothing if I further my education. My home is just as underwater as the Slocums', and I am also paying for education - not for myself, but for my daughter's college. Those loans are coming due now, and they're for a heck of a lot more than what Mr. Slocum paid for his master's degree.

  18. Teachers offered the district a one year "status quo" contract, except for the education increases. The district wouldn't take it. Teachers took those classes with an understanding that, under a legal document (the contract), they would be paid for it.

    The union isn't digging in because we don't care about our students, or we all want to be rich. We're digging in because we don't trust the CCSD, we don't trust Dwight Jones, and we believe they have the money. We gave concessions for three years, and we were willing to do it for a fourth. It's the district that messed this one up, folks.

  19. Joe is correct. Teachers don't teach "for the money." They knew going into the profession that they weren't going to get rich. However, they also knew they had a contract and knew what they had to do to move up the salary scale. Teachers don't work for free. They have bills to pay just like everyone else. This is an issue of CCSD deciding not to honor their contract with the teachers.

  20. The sad part about this is that being a teacher is being devalued in society. I'm not talking about money (even though most articles like this one only talk about money). I'm talking about teachers being made out like villians. Students don't succeed. Blame the teachers. Parents fail. Blame the teachers. CCSD spends money in all the wrong places. Blame the teachers. CCSD doesn't honor a contract. Blame the teachers. Why would any teacher want to work here? The education in this city will not go up until the city attracts better teachers. You can not attract better teachers with low salaries, tons of pressure, horrible administrators (there is one of the key problems that no one is talking about), and this horrible housing market. This used to be a destination city for teachers. That was CCSD's chance to succeed. That is gone. Instead of regrouping, CCSD is imploding.

  21. I sympathize with teachers. I do think they should be paid more and I do think we as a people need to emphasize more on education. That being said, I haven't had a raise in 4 years. I deal with it, they should too.

  22. scarletG2012 asks..."Would you do a job like that for $60,000/year when you had a Masters degree or a Doctorate?"

    Show of hands, who wants to sit in a middle school library for seven hours a day, 9 months out of the year for $60K.

    The Slocums are more than welcome to explore the free market and see what their education and experience is worth to other districts, or, god forbid, the private sector.

    Here's an idea, the couple should head back to New York where the head of the public library makes around $800,000.

    And what courses did the librarian take. "Advanced Shelving?" "The 123s of the ABCs?" "Do We Dewey?" I'm dying to know.

  23. I headed into this article fully expecting I'd be coming down squarely on the side of these poor, struggling teachers. But after finding out that they are "struggling" to make ends meet on a household income of $100k/yr, all my sympathies mysteriously evaporated. If you can't manage your finances with that income, then I suggest the next "advanced education" course you pay for is one focusing on personal economics.

  24. " if an arbitrator rules that if times get tough we can break our agreements I think it is OK."

    It is not breaking an agreement.

    It is a new contract.

    The union has proposed what they think the new contract should be.

    The CCSD has proposed what they think the new contract should be.

    Arbitrator has to choose one (he/she can't mixed/match).

    If the arbitrator picks the union's version then CCSD has stated that it will have to lay-off people to balance its budget.

  25. RefNV: If you had a contract with your employer, you would have guarantees that your employer couldn't arbitrarily take away. There are plenty of people in the private sector who have contracts. I'm sorry if you chose a career that didn't come with a contract, but that's not the teachers' fault.

  26. School librarian job description:

    http://www.google.com/url?sa=t&rct=j...

    I'd also like to point out that the school librarian position requires one to have a teaching license and then a master's in library science.

  27. So RefNV, if you had a signed contract with your employer guaranteeing you certain pay and benefits and your employer decided that they weren't going to honor that contract you wouldn't take them to court and demand that the contract be enforced? ...you'd just shrug and say "Hey, contract or not there's no guarantees"?

    Sorry, but I don't believe you.

    But hey, convince me that you're sincere and I'll suggest to your boss that you only get paid for half of the hours you work each week because you're OK with "no guarantees"

  28. RefNV: Pointing out one's ignorance has nothing to do with their level of intelligence. It's obvious the poster knows not one thing about the job of a school librarian. Notice that I posted a pretty accurate job description? Maybe someone will choose to learn something new today.

  29. @RefNV:

    You want a contract with your employer? UNIONIZE. Only you are to blame for your "lack of guarantees." People like you, who bitch and moan about how poor those of us in the "private sector" have it make me sick. You have it bad because you are too lazy to stand up and make things better for yourself.

    Quit complaining. Either you work for a contract and hold your employer to that contract, or you shut up and toil in your miserable existence.

    @SgtRock:

    You once again demonstrate your complete lack of knowledge of which you speak.

    This issue is over a contractual agreement that began in 2011. The school district, in the middle of that contract, is trying to unilaterally revoke salary agreements that were executed when both parties signed the contract.

    In order to prevent what amounts to nothing more than theft by the school district, the union filed a grievance which has progressed to the arbitration stage.

    If the district wins in arbitration, it will withhold pay in the amount of the "raises" from the execution date of the contract in 2011 retroactively, meaning that teachers will not receive paychecks until that money is "paid back."

    That is theft, period.

    Please, before you spout your b.s. try to at least obtain a basic understanding of the facts.

  30. Some of the short-sightedness in these comments baffles me. Certainly, this article's focus is on the Slocums and their plight, but the story expands in a greater way when you understand how the ineptitude of the Clark County School District is going to affect their ability to draw talented teachers as the future goes forward.

    Teachers in this district must be here simply for the love of the job, because it's extremely difficult to see why any intelligent and driven college graduate would prefer to make $27,000 a year to deal with kids that don't want to be there, as compared to becoming a retail manager for $35,000 and dealing with kids that at least want to be there for the money? It's easy to say, "Well, Mr. Slocum, we encourage you to look for something that will compensate you properly. We'll be fine without you." But, if we continue to encourage that line of thinking, we'll remain in the bottom rung of education.

    Employers who have a reputation for mistreating their employees are going to have a difficult time attracting the greatest employees. The CCSD is showing themselves to be untrustworthy.

    I hate to espouse the phrase "won't somebody think of the children," but you'd hope that our state and those in it would recognize that we should hold our kids' education in higher regards than our wallets.

    The Slocums deserve to be paid as promised on their investments, and and not be told they need to make more sacrifices that they shouldn't have to make. Teaching should be a revered institution.

  31. Considering the "promised" funds being sought by this subject are the result of massive social theft, perhaps such ramifications are deserved?

    There are many reasons why RESPONSIBLE citizens don't subject their offspring to publicly funded educational services.

    Perhaps a new career outside the social services sector is in order?

    Recalling my first profession which routinely placed me out of work every six to twelve months it became apparent that my services didn't return the steady employment I sought -- as such, I changed professions which resulted in a long satisfying career.

    When it becomes apparent that the path you're traveling isn't taking you where you want to go -- embrace the opportunity to change paths without fear and/or regrets.

    You're where you're at for a reason, often a deserved one - challenge yourself into making responsible life changes.

    : {

  32. @Harley

    That still misses the point. If all of the teachers quit, what do we do? Just get rid of education?

  33. @RefNV:

    I think you're missing the point of this article. It's less about what Slocum has gone through with the resources at hand, but that he's not the only one that has had to deal with this situation. He is very fortunate to still be afloat and able to continue without it, but other teachers are not. Companies and state-run organizations should not be allowed to screw over people and go back on their word.

  34. @RefNV. "If teachers hate their gig they should quit. Why aren't more teachers quitting and finding other opportunities here in the Las Vegas area if it such a tough gig?"

    I have a simple answer, the kids. Maybe we do it, not because of the money, but because if we don't do it, who will? If the teachers here right NOW left, who would educate your children and grandchildren?

  35. @RefNV. Be careful what you wish for, you may just get it. Watch what happens this summer and fall with many teachers retiring.

  36. In the words of Dennis Williams "go east young man". Being from NY Slocums should realize the value of education will never be respected or valued in Vegas as in other areas of the country. From its inception, education has never been part the Vegas culture, so why should it be from this point forward? There is no reason for them to stay there for job opportunities and salary in a region which only "educates" because it has to. Go back home where parents and school districts care about where there kids go to school and who educates them. They will also be more respected as professionals.

  37. @shannonk..." Thanks for showing your complete ignorance on what the job of a librarian entails."

    Where was I off. I read the description you provided and nothing in there could not be accomplished while "sit[ting] in a middle school library for seven hours a day, 9 months out of the year."

    If I am wrong and the job of a middle school librarian can not be accomplished by someone wheelchair-bound please point out which specific duties you mean.

    But I do thank-you for pointing out "the school librarian position requires one to have a teaching license and then a master's in library science."

    Since Slocum has a "master's degree in arts education," he has no reason complaining, seeing how he isn't qualified for his current position.

    I bet he didn't whine when the district didn't stick to that rule.

  38. Why doesn't the teachers union help teachers increase their education? Isn't that one of the main things unions are supposed to do provide a trained member? Instead of spending millions on lobbying and political contributions they could assist teachers in getting more education and be better teachers.

    I also blame the school administration. They spend a lot of money on things not involved in the classroom. This is one reason the unions and school admins hate vouchers because they wouldn't determine where the money goes.

  39. Typical whining by another "entitled" government teat sucker. He and wifey make almost $100k per year PLUS have great health care and pension benefits that few in the private sector even come close to, if they have them at all.
    Take your sad song and pity party somewhere else dude.

  40. $60K a year PLUS BENEFITS for a JUNIOR HIGH LIBRARIAN???? That jobs worth $20k MAX.
    Does anyone else see what's wrong with this picture??
    Another example of the taxpayers getting shafted big time.

  41. ClarkCrimCops: Regarding your ridiculous statement about "sitting around" in the library, which everyone with two brain cells to rub together understands was supposed to be an insult, I showed you via my link that there is a heck of a lot more involved in a school librarian position than just sitting on one's ass.

    Additionally, regarding your other insulting comment inquiring what classes one has to take to obtain the degree, here you go: https://advise.unlvcoe.net/node/285

    As to the degree required, it wouldn't surprise me if it was supposed to read "master's of arts in education." I have no idea where he received his degree from. It's an M.Ed. or M.S. at UNLV.

  42. I think some of you are missing the point. This has nothing to do with how much each individual teacher makes (which, by the way, is public information, so you can go an look for yourself).

    What this has to do with is that the CCSD is lying to its teachers, students, and parents. The CCEA brought in a forensic accountant to look at CCSD's budget, and found that they have enough money. Our superintendent is not trusted by the teachers one bit. I am more than willing to have my pay frozen-- after all, we are all in this bad economy together. But if I'm told in a binding agreement that if I get more education I get more money, then that is what should happen. I would support, as a teacher, a temporary freeze on education lanes as long as it only applies to people who haven't started a graduate program. This is about the CCSD not fulfilling its promise to its employees.

    Go ahead, bash teachers for doing a job that is one of the most important in our society. Go ahead and bash them for doing it for little money (Gee, we must not be very smart! If we wanted to earn more, we should go to the private sector, right?). Most teachers I know are honest, hardworking people who deeply care about the future of the children entrusted in our care. Just remember: you reap what you sow.

    This community will never grow and become strong unless we start caring about our children. This doesn't mean every teacher needs (or deserves) a big raise, but we do deserve to be fairly compensated and treated with respect. For all of you whiners out there, I challenge you to go volunteer at a school. See what it means to be a teacher. I guarantee you there's nothing like the feeling of seeing a child's face when you've helped them learn something. That's why we teach. It's something you can't understand unless you've ever been a teacher.

    Support your community, support your teachers. Treat us with the respect that we deserve. We can have an intelligent conversation about whether or not teachers should have a raise, but that conversation shouldn't include accusations, personal attacks, and posts that show how shallow some people are such as "hey, things could be worse. I have no sympathy". I'm not asking for your sympathy. I'm asking for your support and respect as a community member... and if you can't provide teachers with that, then shame on you.

  43. Welcome to the rest of us.

  44. Boy, fix the swamp cooler, clean house and do dishes and work on packing and six hours later this post has gone ballistic.

    It's always a problem assigning value to someone else's occupation. When I ran the auto repair shop I'd deal with it all the time. Why charge 75 or 100 bucks just to diagnose the "check engine light"? Well, I have to pay for the equipment, the technicians time and the fact that he [or she in my case] was highly trained, spent two years in an electronics course and had skills and knowledge desired by my competitors.

    Librarian???Big whoop! A monkey could do the job as long as it could figure out the alphabet and the Dewey system. Anyway, anyone can look it all up on the internet, it's all true 'cause it's on Wiki.

    Newspaper column??? Look at Coolican. Works three or four days a week and produces a dozen paragraphs of OPINION [no research there] each time.

    Cops???Drive around all day and eat donuts.

    Face it, everybody out there is dead-a$$ lazy and doesn't work hard except, of course, me.

    RefNV....teachers are higher paid because they have higher education and more skill and knowledge. If you're going to continue to thrash the dead horse of comparative wages at least have the integrity to compare like occupations and educational requirements. Somehow, in your mind, teachers are to blame for achieving advanced education and corresponding degrees.

    I have worked since i was 16; 32 years in the trades, 10 or so in management and the last 4 as a shop teacher. The last 4 were by far the most difficult. Those of you who denigrate teaching...have at it. CCSD, despite the croc tears, continues to hire teachers. If the economy is so bad and enrollment is stable ask yourself how come they're not lined up 100 deep looking for jobs.

  45. @ShannonK.." Regarding your ridiculous statement about "sitting around" in the library, which everyone with two brain cells to rub together understands was supposed to be an insult."

    Then why didn't you? Someone "with two brain cells to rub together" would have understood the comment "was supposed to be an insult." making the response,about my "complete ignorance on what the job of a librarian entails" meaningless.

    You see if I really thought that's what a librarian did it wouldn't be an insult. Since your response is inconsistent with realizing it was an insult, it's time for you to rethink the idea that, "everyone with two brain cells to rub together understands was supposed to be an insult."

    I, on the other hand, think you hit the nail on the proverbial empty head.

    p.s. in what world is a "master's of arts in education." the same as a " master's in library science."

  46. I agree, this article does not help the $$$ arguement. It looks very bad that a librarian is complaining about making $60,000 a year when so many are out of work. But, that is exactly why The Sun did this article instead of an article about a 2nd year teacher making $38,000 a year that worked hard to get a master's degree and is truly struggling to make ends meet. The Sun is getting exactly what it wanted, a reaction. Do not judge teachers as a whole based on a librarian. True teachers are just as annoyed that the librarians make so much money.

  47. watchyourmouth: "True teachers" understand the value of the school librarian and use the librarian's expertise to enhance their students' learning experiences.

  48. RefNV, did you actually read what I wrote?

    I don't understand why you can't logically discuss an issue beyond spewing facts that are largely irrelevant to the discussion. Nobody here is suggesting that teachers deserve big payouts in a time of economic crisis. You obviously have missed the discussion about the CCSD breaking promises, or about the fact that the CCSD HAS the money to pay for the raises without layoffs or raising taxes.

    All you can say is that you don't feel any sympathy for a couple who makes $100,000 a year. I honestly don't, either. However, this is about the district breaking a promise it made. Imagine if you worked for a company, and that company told you that if you took some college credits (paid by you), they would pay you more, then decided not to, that would be OK? Of course you would be complaining. And you should.

    You are precisely what I am talking about. Better education=better and more jobs. Better teachers=better education. Lower salaries, treated like felons, no trust between the district and its teachers= worse teachers. Is that what we really want?

  49. RefNV: It's amazing how you can read something into someone's writing that simply isn't there.

    Teacher morale is at an all-time low. For years, they have been bashed by the public, but they keep doing their jobs, teaching kids and letting the garbage roll off their shoulders. Unfortunately, teachers now cannot trust their employer who is trying to back out of a contract, taking away money that has been paid to teachers since the beginning of the school year, something that will be devastating for many of those teachers who are living paycheck to paycheck. I certainly wouldn't blame teachers if they stuck to working their contractual hours and didn't put forth any more effort than that. The district and the public have shown just how valued teachers are in this city. Fortunately for our children, the majority of teachers are more professional than that and will continue to do their very best even while being spit upon, first by the public and now by their employer.

  50. My daughter was a student in CCSD during the height of the real estate boom, when the CCSD didn't have the level of budget problems they have today. CCSD was building new schools left and right, because of massive population increases. The CCSD teachers were whining back then that the state was "underfunding education", and in reply legislator Bob Beers pointed out that when you added all of the construction expenditures taxpayers paid for through real estate taxes plus the CCSD's operating budget from the Legislature, that CCSD was well funded. During the 6 years my daughter was a student in CCSD all but 3 (out of 36) of her teachers absolutely refused to comply with her Individualized Education Plan prepared by the schools' Special Education Coordinators, 4 of whom quit in disgust at the CCSD's teachers uncooperativeness. All of the CCSD teachers we encountered, except the 3, violated Federal law (IDEA and ADA) by refusing to comply with my daughter's "IEP". The largest number of my daughter's 33 non-compliant regular education teachers simply didn't give a hoot about complying with Federal laws which were specifically applicable to them. Instead, the teachers were primarily interested in simply showing up and getting a pay check. So my daughter was denied a decent quality education by these union members. I have no sympathy for them, whatsoever. It's too bad the Nevada Legislature hasn't passed the requisite law allowing local public agencies to file "public agency bankruptcy" because that would be the most practical way for the CCSD to get rid of all of these tenured money-grubbing malingerers.

  51. Cynical Observer,

    As a teacher and union member, I am disgusted by what happened to your daughter. Those teachers should be fired. An IEP is a legal document that must be followed. Not all of us are like that. I work my butt off for my students (in fact, I'm going to a school event here in a few minutes), and I cringe when I hear stories like that. You have every right to be angry, but please do not group us all together like that. If I were your daughter's teacher, I would have done everything in my power to see that she succeeded.

    RefNV,

    I take great offense being compared to the mafia, and I take great offense that you think I was threatening something. Each and every day I give 100% to my students, and that will never change, whether I have a fair contract or not. I just might choose not to give my all to a community that is more concerned with the almighty dollar than its own future. People like you, who are so self-absorbed that they can't admit that there are divergent views, annoy me. Unlike CynicalObserver, you have provided no evidence to back up any of your pathetic, sad and angry comments.

  52. RefNV,

    "Lower salaries, treated like felons, no trust between the district and its teachers= worse teachers"

    What that means is that good teachers will leave, and this community will be unable to attract good replacements. It doesn't mean we will underperform. I care about all my students. If you want to be mad, call up Dwight Jones and ask him why he can't negotiate with teachers in good faith.

  53. It might not be my place to say, but I've had enough of the issue of Andrew Slocum as merely a librarian. In his 14 years in the Valley, he has taught Science, English, and has served as both Yearbook and Newspaper advisor for multiple junior high schools. He has contributed a great deal to many students in a staggering amount of ways.

  54. Cynical Observer: I'm terribly sorry that your child had teachers who refused to follow an IEP. I'm with Jon...they should be fired immediately. When I was teaching, I worked very hard to get IEPs for my students who needed them (a terrible chore that took all year at two schools, and a breeze at another where the school psychologist was very helpful and immediately responsive to the needs of the students), and then worked very hard to ensure that the IEPs were being followed.

  55. Solar7: Some people seem to forget or be unaware that librarians ARE teachers. They hold teacher licensure and then get a master's in library science on top of that.

  56. Hi everyone. This is Andy, the subject of the article. Thank you all for your comments. Just a few things that I would like to clarify for those who seem to be misunderstanding my concerns.

    I'm not angry about how much money I make, and I'm not crying poverty. I'm angry because I was led to believe that if I invested $10,000 in classes that CCSD encouraged me to take, that I would be fairly compensated. This is clearly indicated in Article 26-23 of my contract, which can be viewed online by anyone. The school district did not give any indication that that it would not be able to honor this agreement, and those of us who participated did not find out until it was too late. I invested my time and money in training that was only relevant to my job as a Clark County teacher because I love living and teaching here. It seems entirely implausible to me that the school district had no idea that they wouldn't be able to uphold their end of the bargain, especially at a time when they are investing a tremendous amount of money on things that actually have much less impact on the quality of a student's education. Respected studies referenced by district officials have shown beyond a doubt that nothing has a greater impact on the quality of a student's education than a quality teacher. I can assure you that I am a high achieving teacher who earns student achievement results year after year, and I accomplish none of this by sitting on my ass all day. Please visit my school or ask my supervisors for more clarification on my contribution to my school before you accuse me of being lazy. I work my ass off, so there isn't anything left to sit on. However, the district continues to bankroll a lot of initiatives such as the new school performance framework, area service centers, the common core state standards, and superfluous levels of administration, at the same time that they claim they do not have enough money to pay the people who make the actual difference. I'm not mad about how much money I make; I'm mad that the district is seemingly wasting precious taxpayer dollars on initiatives that have very little impact on the overall quality of a student's education. Quality teachers equal a quality education. Five stars and ipads won't do it.

    The deal was, if I committed to increasing my performance and effectiveness, and was willing to front the cost of the program, that the district would reward me for being a high-achieving teacher. That didn't happen, and I'd like a better answer than, "We don't have the money because we spent it on a five-star rating system and some ipads."

    I pay the same taxes that every other home owner does. I just don't like seeing our tax dollars wasted on things that don't make a difference.

  57. RefNV comes into these boards each and every day white knighting multi-millionaires, how they EARNED their millions and shouldn't have to pay one dollar more in taxes just because they're successful. Then today he continuously insults a teaching couple earning a combined income of just under $100,000 as being greedy! Talking out of both sides of your mouth, RefNV, or do you simply have your priorities screwed up? Remember, the kids being "educated" today will be the ones wiping your ... nose when your family puts you in the home.

    Were I promised a higher wage if I took advanced courses, paying out of my own pocket, then have the administration tell me, "just kidding", I'd be irritated too. A contract is a contract, a promise is a promise. I don't care where you work.

    Maybe CCSD should get rid of some of their overpaid administrators who do nothing and have so much idle time on their hands all they do is make silly rules for people actually doing the job these administrators are not qualified to do! I've worked under those types in the private sector. They don't know what we do, but make rules on how we should do it.

  58. RefNV (Re Freeman): Please know that I am not complaining about how much money I make as a teacher. That has never been my concern. I know that I am truly blessed to be paid a fair salary for honest work, and I really do work very hard for the people of Nevada. I am not lazy, and I do much more than sit at my desk all day. I invite you to visit my school and talk with me, my supervisor, my principal, and the students and teachers whom I serve proudly each and every day. I have been honored multiple times as a distinguished educator, which means that I have effected meaningful student achievement through my hard work. I am grateful to the school district and the taxpayers it represents for the opportunity to do what I love and truly excel at--teaching. I share your frustrations with the economy, which has fueled much of the debate over education in Nevada, but the measure of our success as a state, as a people, and as a nation, will forever be our integrity, and my confidence in such as it relates to our local governance has been shaken by these recent events. I fulfilled my commitments to district officials, the trustees, the students, and the people of Nevada by working ever harder to become the best, most efficient educator that I can be. I'm only asking that the school district keeps its word as well. If honesty and integrity are as important to you as they are to me, then I am certain you can understand my concerns.

  59. Hey Andy, I'm in the same boat: I'm just finishing up my master's at UNLV and am outraged that instead of keeping its promise to its employees, CCSD is spending ridiculous amounts of money on ipads and flashy technology -- stuff that can never replace an enthusiastic teacher.

    I'll tell you where another money pit in the district is: the new hire academy. As a new teacher, I was absolutely SWAMPED with the amount of work and classroom systems development I had to do to further the education of my students. Instead of allowing new teachers to find their rhythm and get settled in, first year teachers (who are in my opinion among the busiest teachers) have to complete 45 additional hours of "development."

    I can tell you that this BS new hire academy cost the district millions a year for absolutely nothing -- no teacher I have ever talked to, including the hundreds with whom I was in new hire academy, gained anything meaningful from that department. It's just another case of too many administrators who have nothing better to do than to make up pointless programs to justify their jobs.

  60. After reading these comments I have never had lower respect for so-called teachers. They are upset because the economy tanked and the district can't afford what it promised. Why don't the teachers go around and collect an extra hundred dollars from the underwater home owners to pay for what is "owed' you.

  61. @ ShannonK...."Some people seem to forget or be unaware that librarians ARE teachers. They hold teacher licensure and then get a master's in library science on top of that."

    If that's the case how did Slocum get hired without a Masters in Library Sciences? Seems the district bent the rules. Odd he didn't complain about that when he benefited.

  62. Some of these commenters say we are sending our kids the wrong message--that perhaps they shouldn't bother with college or some other form of higher education. Actually that's the RIGHT message-- college won't benefit everybody. Teachers should tell students that borrowing to go to college carries a lot of risk and they should think very carefully about whether or not college is for them. Jennifer Lawrence is probably the hottest actress on the planet now--she says she hated school so much she decided she never wanted to sit behind a desk again, so she became an actress. Another glaring example of how college isn't for everybody.

    http://www.dailymail.co.uk/tvshowbiz/art...

  63. @RefNV The average family household does not have 2 members with bachelors/masters degrees from a university. Are you attacking someone who worked hard to be in a position where they receive benefits, sick days, and a decent household income because not EVERYONE has achieved the same? Are you out of your mind? You're probably the guy who keys the side of a Bentley because why should the owner deserve a nice car that he worked hard for if you don't get one for doing nothing? Smells like communism in here...

    Imagine your boss telling you, "Hey Freeman, if you take these classes at the university, I'm going to promote you and give you a $5,000/year salary advancement. You'll have to pay it from your own pocket, but it'll be worth it. Here, I'll even put it in writing." So you dish out the money, take the classes for 2 years, and at the end your boss tells you, "Oh, Hey...Freeman, listen, I know we have that thing in writing, but we don't have enough money to promote you, sorry."

    Suddenly the rest of the city takes your employer's side and agrees you have no right asking for what you were promised DESPITE THE FACT THAT IT WAS IN A CONTRACT.

    That being said, I have one semester left to finish my masters in math education at UNLV. Not administration, or some other BS degree for the sole purpose of getting a salary advance, but in the actual field I teach. I did not take out any student loans. The ~$10,000 has all been paid for out of pocket on my $37,000/yr salary.

  64. My daughter works as a 12 year teacher in Florida making whopping 41,000 and didn't get her raises for three years. Tough choices are being made to balance budgets. Many in this nation bit off more than they can chew. Taxpayers are not cash cows. When a bad economy like this one happens there are no rules or contracts that can't be broken. You can't make taxpayers pay money they don't have.

  65. @jac Contracts that can't be broken? Are you insane? WHY DO YOU THINK CONTRACTS EXIST IN THE FIRST PLACE?! Holy crap. Please excuse me while I slam my head into a wall. The stupidity posted on here is astounding.

  66. @RefNV "Promised"? Or written into a legal contract? Many teachers took the job over more lucrative ones because of its stability.

    The tax payers shouldn't have to pay an extra dime for us to get our salary advancements for education, or years teaching. There are 140+ pages of phone numbers of people who work for the CCSD that do nothing inside of a classroom or school. Make cuts where the cuts should be made. Get rid of excess administrators who make up new committees every year to "change the curriculum" and try to justify their jobs.

    Do you realize we have a lady who organizes bicycle rodeos? A person, who is paid a teacher's salary, that goes to elementary/middle schools and organizes a "rodeo" where they teach children how to safely cross the street with their bicycle... ARE YOU KIDDING ME?!

    There are hundreds of useless positions like this employed by the CCSD. If the union wins, the district will either be forced to cut teachers from the classroom, or finally eliminate all the BS jobs we have no business funding.

  67. I'm not talking about school leadership, I'm talking about jobs outside the classroom, that give almost no benefit to those that are. Find a CCSD phone book, check for yourself.

    You're only hearing the teacher's side because it's the only one you WANT to hear. You're doing everything in your power to NOT side with the teachers. How about you do some research for yourself... I've done mine through 5 years of teaching, and 30+ years of immediate family who taught in the CCSD.

    I don't want anyone to lose their job, but I want my contract honored, and I want the tax payers to know where their money is going. A lot of it is not going to their children; it is going to useless desk jobs outside the classroom. It's bureaucratic misuse of funds so people can help their buddies keep their jobs when they were eliminated from a school site...

    Whether or not we get our raises the district should be cutting unnecessary positions.

  68. Comment removed by moderator. Name Calling

  69. The median household income of 50K is for households in which the primary earner has a high school or some community college [but no degree or certification] and the secondary earner [if working] is unskilled. The average Las Vegas worker is low to modestly skilled, has limited ability or interest in changing careers or gaining more education and therefore has a difficult time raising his or her standard of living. Want a great high-paying job which requires hard work but limited education....oil fields in North Dakota, Eastern Montana, Texas and Oklahoma are booming, as is coal mining. Closer to home....gold mining in Elko. One of my shop kids, no great scholar but a decent welder, started off at $28.00 an hour. A teaching couple, one of whom has years of varied experience in the field and an advanced degree, should probably earn a combined income in excess of 100K.

    You sound no different than the "Occupy" idiots....by God, they got more than us, let's take it away. You're setting up straw men with your arguments, setting public sector workers against private sector when the real issue is increasing income inequality between the to 20% and the rest of us.

  70. The teachers have a contract which must be honored. Failure to do so will set the school district up for a big fat lawsuit.

  71. Comment removed by moderator. Name Calling

  72. My family is in the same boat as the Slocums. My husband spent thousands of dollars last year on his continuing education through CTE with the understanding that it was for a salary increase. We paid cash for the classes out of our pocket and now are facing having to pay the raise back and being out the thousands of dollars we spent. My husband has TWO Master's degrees- an MBA and a Master's in Special Education. The school district doesn't recognize his MBA, so he needed to further his education so that we can pay our bills and honor our responsibilities. Funny- when we sign a contract, we honor it. We still pay monthly on our home even though we owe three times its worth. We pay our credit card and auto debt. I wonder what the bank would say if we called and said that we had the money when we signed it, but now we don't. Plenty of people do that, but not us. We honor our commitments and expect our employer to do the same.

    The question that needs to be answered is why won't CCSD honor its commitment to its teachers? I urge you to look at all the new programs CCSD implements spending hundreds of thousands of dollars that apparently they don't have. CCSD also hired hundreds of teachers this year- why? If they can't pay the ones they already have, why hire more? I don't know any teachers who work only the contracted hours and days. We work summers, nights, and weekends. We aren't asking to be paid for our extra hours. We work them because we are professionals and care about our students.

    On a personal note, I have known Natalie for 16 years- first as my student, and now as my colleague. She works countless hours above and beyond contract on a daily basis making science relevant for her students (following IEP's to the letter of the law I might add). Andy is the hardest working librarian I know. He has used his education, fabulous personality, and his desire to make everyone a reader and made Greenspun a better school. Before you criticize, come check out the library. Ask any of the students if they feel "Mr. S" cares about them and makes them want to come to school. Do that before you attack him. Frankly, most people with his level or education are referred to as "Dr." or "Your Honor."

    Primates, wheelchairs, and ass-sitting aside, the issue is that Andy honors his word by working hard for his students every day. CCSD needs to honor their commitment to Andy and all of its employees.

  73. All one has to do is go to Transparent Nevada and check out the salaries of the highest paid state employees to discover that teachers aren't in that group.

    http://transparentnevada.com/

  74. Let's stick to what you actually posted, Freeman, to wit: "Public School Teachers Are Highest Paid State Workers." I have shown that you are wrong.

    Teachers are not trying to "grab more money for themselves." They simply want what the legally binding contract states they are to be paid.

  75. We know you have no sympathy for teachers, Freeman. The fact is that this not a "money grab." Teachers have a contract with the CCSD. Those who have abided by specific terms of the contract are now being told that the contract may not be honored. Look for a huge lawsuit if that happens. Contracts are legally binding and one can't arbitrarily break it without repercussions.

  76. Teachers put in more than 12 months of work in 9 months. Few and far between are the teachers who come and leave at their contract time, and spend no time outside of their classroom making lessons plans, and grading papers. Teachers also coach sports (yes they are compensated, but feel free to break that down by the hour, it's far less than minimum wage), advise clubs, and are class advisers. Those hours were not accounted for in that study, and therefore the results are not valid to use in an argument against teachers...

    Your article pertains to the average national teacher, not NV specifically. Again, managerial positions do not necessarily require a bachelors/masters degree. Are you saying that the manager at taco bell should make more than someone with a master's degree?

    Just because people are out of work, doesn't mean that contracts can be voided.

  77. Wow. Clearly, this debate was over before it started. If you are unable to understand counter arguments, and your only response is to re-post the same information, then you are not "winning" the argument.

    Teachers are contracted for less hours, sure, but they spend many outside of their contract day doing their teaching duties. That study does not account for those hours, and is therefore not a valid study for comparison of the amount of actual work each does...

  78. I'm still waiting for RefNV to confirm that he would accept the same thing he expects the teachers to.

    If next week his boss decided that Re would only get paid for half of the work he did, would Re accept it on the grounds that "there are no guarantees" or would he go to court to fight for what he was legally promised?

    How about it Re?

  79. This is the worst possible time for teachers to scream for more money, just after tax day, and just after Best Buy says it's closing 90 stores. (do they have a Best Buy in LV?)

  80. You're right Re, teachers have the best jobs ever. Clearly that study says it all. That's why there are such an abundance of them, right? Overpaid, do hardly any work, benefits up the ying-yang. I should thank my lucky stars I even get a paycheck for this cakewalk.

  81. A legally binding agreement is a legally binding agreement Re.

    Violating a signed contract that guarantees them a salary increase is no different legally than only paying you for half of your salary.

    You need to decide Re, are you OK with "there are no guarantees" like you say or are you admitting to you hypocrisy and sayign that YOU should be protected legally...but not the people you don't like.

  82. Actually the teachers aren't on their own.

    They have the support of everyone who believes that they are entitled to exactly what their signed contracts guaranteed.

    But since you can't have your cake and eat it too, lets craft a letter to your boss saying that you're OK with half of your pay being taken away since you believe wholeheartedly that "there are no guarantees" and that it's OK to reverse legally binding agreements after the fact. That way we can give that half of your pay to the teachers while they fight for their contract and everyone will be happy, the teachers because they get the money they were contractually guaranteed and you, because you will have personally sacrificed to prove your "there are no guarantees" philosophy.

    But nice attempt to dodge "legally binding agreement" with "well, other people let them get away with it so the teachers should let the county break the law too". Since experts estimate that many burglaries never get reported are you OK with folks robbing your home?

    Once again, you seem to only want the law to protect you, but not the people you don't like.

  83. No Re, the proposal is to cut YOUR pay in half.

    Since you apparently support the effort to violate the signed, legally binding contracts the teachers have....it only seems fair to do the exact same thing to you by violating the legally binding agreement you have with your employer regarding your rate of pay.

  84. In looking at what the administrators agreed to, I'm not too impressed. These are people making 6 figures a year. Support staff is paying for half of the pension increase, same as teachers. It is only the teachers, who have shelled out time and money, in order to abide by the terms of their contract only to be told that they need to suck it up and forget about it. It's about time teachers finally said "NO" loudly and clearly.

  85. RE, in what way is it not an apples to apples comparison.

    Both are violations of legally binding agreements regarding pay.

    The only difference between them is that one involves you and one involves people you don't like.

    Face it, all of your arguments have boiled down to you insisting that people you feel are greedy, lazy, or make more than the national average (people you don't like) should not have any legal protection with regards to signed employment contracts (thus your quote "there are no guarantees")

    The fact that you personally think the violation of the law is OK is irrelevant. It's still a violation of the law.

  86. I would love to see what half of you would do if your employer reneged on a raise. Oh man that would be glorious!

  87. "A legally binding agreement is a legally binding agreement Re.

    Violating a signed contract that guarantees them a salary increase is no different legally than only paying you for half of your salary."

    The CCSD proposed a contract.

    The union proposed a contract.

    They both tried to negogiate but that failed.

    The abritator will pick one of the proposed contracts and that contract will be retro-active to the beginning of the fiscal year.

    It is that simple.

    If the union contract is picked then many CCSD members will be laid-off to balance the budget.

    If the CCSD contract is picked then many CCSD members will get to keep their jobs.

  88. Haven't you teachers heard of private companies going bankrupt and the employees and retires not receiving what was promised to them? Here the school district (taxpayers) can't afford what it promised.

  89. This city has everything backwards. It is so corrupt, and filled with an apathetic populace. It is shameful. Two people who dedicated their lives to teaching, and neither of these two are making the big bucks. Yet administrators are making 6 figures, and don't get me started on the fire department.
    The people need to demand common sense and sanity.
    No city needs 6 figure fire fighters, or more appropriate..glorified paramedics.
    Stand with hard working teachers, they deserve a living wage, and they are not getting rich off the taxpayers.
    Everyone should be outraged at the pay of public workers in this city. These teachers deserve the support of the taxpayers....they are not the overpaid public safety sector.

  90. When did teachers become the enemy? Fact, to compete in the world market place we need an educated work force, to get an educated work force we need dedicated and educated teachers and to get dedicated and educated teachers we need to pay them a market wage equal to their value in the private sector. This might mean that the physical education or music teacher makes $15,000 a year and the math teacher makes $100,000 a year because the value added to the private sector is much greater in the case of the mathematics teacher. Until teachers are no longer demonized we cannot even get to this very important part of the argument, one that all the private sector ideologues keep harping about. The teachers of this country did not cause the economic mess we are in. Point of fact the teachers raises and pay have been much more conservative than other public sector workers, especially the police and fire departments. Two reasons, they can play the fear card and teachers cannot strike. Until this changes you will continue to see the system disintegrate, with good people leaving the tough subjects and a school full of pe, dance, art and music teachers. See how much math, english or science your kids learn from that vacuous bunch.