Teachers rally for pay raise -- Interior Policy, Baltimore County

Full story: Baltimore Sun

Baltimore County teachers battling with County Executive James T. Smith Jr. over a lack of pay raises stepped up their pressure yesterday, marching outside his office and participating in a job action by ...
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1 - 20 of 28 Comments Last updated Apr 24, 2008
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Eco Man

Baltimore, MD

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#1
Apr 2, 2008
 
What kind of raises have Baltimore County teachers received in the last three years?
George

Bunnlevel, NC

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#2
Apr 2, 2008
 
While I have written about fiscal resposibility before the plight of experienced teachers deserves support. These are folks who have who have stayed with the profession through both the good and bad times. These are the folks who have been retained and supportive of education. Yes some may be burned out just holding on until retirement but others are the rock that many schools are built on. I am sure those in government would love to see some of them leave prior to being able to retire and be eligible for health care in retirement. I am sure some in government welcome no COLA as a means of limiting eventual retirement costs. However to target them in a time of fiscal need is just wrong for all the lessons we taught our kids in kindergarten.
Jerrard

Towson, MD

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#3
Apr 2, 2008
 
I work in the private sector and did not receive a COLA or any other increase this year. Times are tough, taxes are already up and we all will have to share some of the misery. With that being said "What were the raises for the last three years?"
Typical Union Mentality

Baltimore, MD

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#4
Apr 2, 2008
 
Baltimore county teachers have received a total raise of 17% over the past 4 years. This is on par with, or slightly above what most of us in the private sector have received. As another poster pointed out, many private sector employees are not getting COLA raises this year.

The teachers protest is just a classic example of the typical union mentality - give me more, not because I am going to do more, but because I deserve it. This "gimmie" mentality is what has ruined any industry that unions control (autos, steel, and yes, public education)
Surf52

Catonsville, MD

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#5
Apr 2, 2008
 
Hey, you teachers are all educated. If you don't think you're getting paid what you're worth go throw your hat in the private sector.

You get summers off, a short work day,(I know, grading papers at the locale of your choice is so stressful), more holidays than most and easier retirement criteria than anybody but the military. Your CE requirements are no greater than comparable professionals. You don't exactly get minimum wage, either.

Do they offer Whining 101 in education classes?
Spades

Beltsville, MD

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#6
Apr 2, 2008
 
It won't get better because that disease of the city will continue to spread to the counties. God knows African-Americans won't do what it takes to make schools to better. They're to busy defending their bus beating children.
flwrchik28

Parkville, MD

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#7
Apr 2, 2008
 
Surf52 wrote:
Hey, you teachers are all educated. If you don't think you're getting paid what you're worth go throw your hat in the private sector.
You get summers off, a short work day,(I know, grading papers at the locale of your choice is so stressful), more holidays than most and easier retirement criteria than anybody but the military. Your CE requirements are no greater than comparable professionals. You don't exactly get minimum wage, either.
Do they offer Whining 101 in education classes?
While I appreciate the wit of the comment, I don't believe you have the entire story. I work a second job to pay for the rising costs of transportation and heating for my home, attend grad school in the evening and summer to maintain my certification and spend endless hours during the week and on Sunday preparing for the Language, Science and Math classes I teach. Grading papers is the least of the job now. Creating PowerPoints and vigorous and interactive lesson plans based on the County's curriculum is now the rule of the day. I am usually at school an hour or so before the kids arrive and I am frequently after school until 5 o'clock-more than 3 hours a day unpaid labor. I do this because I like the kids I teach and I feel that I am doing a service, but I also feel that I deserve to be paid fairly and the kids deserve the best that I can give.
WinterWonderLand

United States

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#8
Apr 2, 2008
 
Surf52 wrote:
Hey, you teachers are all educated. If you don't think you're getting paid what you're worth go throw your hat in the private sector.
You get summers off, a short work day,(I know, grading papers at the locale of your choice is so stressful), more holidays than most and easier retirement criteria than anybody but the military. Your CE requirements are no greater than comparable professionals. You don't exactly get minimum wage, either.
Do they offer Whining 101 in education classes?
If the best and the brightest move out of education into the private sector, what quality of professional are we left with to teach our children?
robyn

AOL

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#9
Apr 2, 2008
 
Every job and families are feeling the pinch. But you can't get blood out of a turnip !. Maybe if you feel you can get more in another county, then you have to do whats right for you. Raises will come and times will get better, patience is the key . I understand totally, But we all have to make sacrifices. People are losing homes, not just a pay increase. Just being honest
George

Bunnlevel, NC

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#10
Apr 2, 2008
 
WinterWonderLand wrote:
<quoted text>
If the best and the brightest move out of education into the private sector, what quality of professional are we left with to teach our children?
I believe I first read this line of thought about 20 years ago. I think it was right at the time and many of the brightest and best teachers left and were not replaced with equal quality over the years. Thus the mess we have teaching today and the resulting lack of public support for what is a product lacking in quality.
Jennifer

Washington, DC

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#11
Apr 2, 2008
 
I would like to see the day when teachers have to sweat out the harsh economy, looming layoffs and the lack of healthcare. What makes them think that because they have an education they deserve more money than any other person working in this country. How is it possible that a person with an advanced degree will be lucky to collect 50K a year, when teachers work eight months a year and can make more. Furthermore, the success of Sylvan and other learning centers shows the lack of commitment of most teachers. I guess they're too busy planning their summer vacations to care that their students are floundering. I would love to see the day when teachers are held accountable for the quality of their work and stop riding the coat tails of teachers past who actually worked for the betterment of the children...and not their selfish lifestyles. I think its time for you teachers to take a step outside the bubble and live in the world everyone else is living.
TeachersUnions

Baltimore, MD

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#12
Apr 3, 2008
 
Jennifer wrote:
I would like to see the day when teachers have to sweat out the harsh economy, looming layoffs and the lack of healthcare. What makes them think that because they have an education they deserve more money than any other person working in this country. How is it possible that a person with an advanced degree will be lucky to collect 50K a year, when teachers work eight months a year and can make more. Furthermore, the success of Sylvan and other learning centers shows the lack of commitment of most teachers. I guess they're too busy planning their summer vacations to care that their students are floundering. I would love to see the day when teachers are held accountable for the quality of their work and stop riding the coat tails of teachers past who actually worked for the betterment of the children...and not their selfish lifestyles. I think its time for you teachers to take a step outside the bubble and live in the world everyone else is living.
Well said. It's the union mentality that is the problem here. Everyone should check out www.teacherunionsexposed.com
Jamie

Rosedale, MD

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#13
Apr 3, 2008
 
TeachersUnions wrote:
<quoted text>
Well said. It's the union mentality that is the problem here. Everyone should check out www.teacherunionsexposed.com
This is more a reply to everyone- since everyone seems to have the same idea about teachers and unions. First- teachers do not work eight months out of the year- august to june is more than 8 months. Most teachers work summer jobs to bring in income over the summer- since they are not compensated during that time. I do not know a single teacher who has a "short" work day- unless you count part-time teachers. Every teacher I know goes in early and stays late AND takes work home with them. While most "private sector" professionals have degrees in their field- the majority of them leave their work AT work - or are else compensated in ways such as bonuses or overtime to make the difference. This issue has nothing to do with "union mentality". It has everything to do with priorities in this country. Everything can be tied into a quality education and every study that has ever been done researching student acheivement has directly related it to quality teachers. If those quality teachers leave for the private sector- I would be very afraid for the future of this nation. Crime, economy, politics, you name it- all relate back to education. If we provide our public school students with the highest quality education possible- I promise the economic climate, crime and every other factor you can think of- will improve.
Teachers and county employees are not "whining" about not getting a raise- they are making an effort to reveal the truth behind county politics- BALTIMORE COUNTY HAS THE MONEY. New fact finder reports are revealing this. They just proved that the amount of surpluses in Baltimore county are enough to provide county employees with a 3 % raise. The issue is not the fact that teachers recieved a 17% COLA over the past 5 (not 4) years- it is that every other county and state in the area provides a competitive salary to teachers (and are all getting COLAS next year) and Baltimore county isnt. This is going to have extreme negative effects on the quality of education within the county. Baltimore county has the 2nd highest turn over rate for teachers in the state of Maryland, only second to Baltimore City. With that said- test scores will go down and the county as a whole will suffer because of simple fact that people (like you- with all due respect) are blind to the truth.
Frank

Baltimore, MD

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#14
Apr 3, 2008
 
My point is that I'm tired of hearing that teachers do what they love and it isn't for the money.

If it isn't about the money - get your a**es out of the picket line and back in the classroom.

If I "rallied" against no pay raises...I would be "rallied" out the door of my employer.
Jamie

Baltimore, MD

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#15
Apr 3, 2008
 
Frank wrote:
My point is that I'm tired of hearing that teachers do what they love and it isn't for the money.
If it isn't about the money - get your a**es out of the picket line and back in the classroom.
If I "rallied" against no pay raises...I would be "rallied" out the door of my employer.
The point it- it doesnt have to be this way.
Frank

Baltimore, MD

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#16
Apr 3, 2008
 
I would never argue that it doesn't have to be this way.

But all I ask is that people be honest about their motives and intentions. And they accept the circumstances which they choose for themselves.

It is not exactly like the wages being offered to teachers are below the poverty level - or anywhere near something that deplorable. People can make a darn good living being a teacher. And if they do not feel respected - they should do what everyone else does...make a life decision. It really is that simple.
Hateration

United States

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#17
Apr 3, 2008
 

Judged:

1

I found it hilarious that people are "hating" on teachers simply because they feel like they are getting a better deal than them. If you feel that way, become a teacher so you too can reap all of the wonderful benefits YOU believe that teachers get.

Parents don't volunteer the way they used too. The schools are being merged and class sizes are swelling, the children have all sorts of problems these days and teaching is freaking cake walk. I've volunteered at my son's school and my hats off to teachers. Give them the raises they deserve.
Frank

Baltimore, MD

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#18
Apr 3, 2008
 
Who's "hating on teachers"?

I would tell an engineer or a secretary or a doctor the exact same thing - if you don't like what you are being paid, find another job. How difficult is that?

You see, teachers that really want to teach go to private schools; where the money is less, but the personal rewards are better.

This is how a free-market society works.

If the amount of teachers decreases, then the amount of pay will increase to compensate. That's how it works. And why should teachers be excluded from economics that work?
For Great Public Schools

Middle River, MD

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#19
Apr 3, 2008
 
Frank wrote:
Who's "hating on teachers"?
I would tell an engineer or a secretary or a doctor the exact same thing - if you don't like what you are being paid, find another job. How difficult is that?
You see, teachers that really want to teach go to private schools; where the money is less, but the personal rewards are better.
This is how a free-market society works.
If the amount of teachers decreases, then the amount of pay will increase to compensate. That's how it works. And why should teachers be excluded from economics that work?
You are very wrong on the reason why teachers go to private schools. Personal rewards are considerably less- not to mention the monetary comparibilities- pressures from rich parents, corruption and complete lack of resources make teaching in a private school very difficult. The thing is- private schools don't have to adhere to the standards and regulations that public schools do. Private schools get evaluated every 5 or so years- public schools have to make AYP each year. Private schools can deny access to students, reject them or send them away- public schools take all- and that is admirable.
Teachers working in a private school do NOT have to be qualified to teach based upon state standards. They do not have to be certified and do not have to teach to the standards. I would never send my child to a private school and I would never teach in a private school. Public schools provide a much better education (on average) than any private school and public school teachers are much more qualified.
I know parents who have been told "no" when they asked their son's private school teacher to help their child afterschool. I don't know a single public school teacher that would do that. Not to say that they don't but again just to reiterate that public school teachers deserve more money and more respect than what they get.
Jennifer

Washington, DC

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#20
Apr 3, 2008
 
I think everyone commenting on this subject brings up valid points...however. I think teachers may need to pair down their lifestyle if making 45 to 50K to start for "8 months" of work cannot sustain them. Second, where is the accountability? Gosh...I would really love to have my employer tell me tomorrow that I can have a week off for Christmas, Easter and get off for "Professional Study Days" and not have to show that I am productive at my job to keep the above benefits. Get with it...your student's parents are losing their jobs and you want more?? I think the apathy of teachers must be contagious...now go ask your students to be allstars while you plan for your summer vacations! Look around you...at the desperation of people...are you kidding me with all of this??
Now when the police officers ask for an increase...oh wait I think they do their jobs for the greater good...I can't remember the last time I heard them say "Well you know we get guns pointed at us everyday and we save your children...so we deserve to have a huge pay increase and 4 months off a year." You should really be ashamed, Teachers!!

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