One of the first things educators and those in the education family ask – where is the pay raise?
From a standpoint of supply and demand, the answer is simple – we need it now!
For example, just look at the salaries for the new teachers in the districts we represent, Caddo, Bossier and Red River:
- Caddo – new teachers begin their career at $41,644.
- Bossier – new teachers, with current pay adjustment of 3.25% begin at $42, 827
- Red River- new teachers receive a total (supplements and base) of $50, 468.
It is no surprise that while Caddo had approximately 160 new teacher hires (196 with re-hires and re-activations) and Bossier approximately 165, Red River Parish only had 8, and those were primarily veteran teachers.
Bossier and Caddo new teacher salaries are not even being competitive with neighboring districts. Webster and Desoto both begin at $47,000 plus. Again, there were 25 new teachers in Webster and 13 in Desoto. This is a great example of supply and demand, the correlation between salary and turnover is abundantly clear.
With insurance costs going up EVERY single year, it is time we speak up, to the administration and the local board. As long as we stay in our lane, don’t look to the right or the left, these decision makers will not act. If you need a little evidence, we actually heard a Bossier Board Member lament he was fearful upper level administrators would leave Bossier if their salaries didn’t increase.
REALLY? Have they looked at their school house salaries?
Friends, we have work to do on the local and state levels. Caddo has begun the process of considering a sales tax increase dedicated to salaries. If passed, it would be substantial. The process is in its infancy, but it has begun. It is going to take hard work for all of us as we see this through the local board, the legislature and then to the public. We believe not only is it worth it, it has to be done.
For Bossier, there was actually a pay raise for this year. Yet, WE need to remind the Bossier Board that while this is a step in the right direction, it is inadequate when compared to higher paying districts. We need the board members to realize that you can’t say you recognize the importance of quality staff and then fail to meet the responsibility in ensuring the salaries are competitive. We don’t do bake sales and car washes to support public education, it takes tax dollars and you have to be willing to ask the public.
For all our districts, we have to work with our state legislators, restoring the funding we had two years ago via the hard work of then Representative John Bel Edwards. Of those funds, this year, Caddo lost $1,216, 404.00; Bossier lost $686,028.00; Red River Parish $10, 485.00. And believe or not, one of our local senators actually testified that we received too much funding.
YES, he did say that!
So, it’s not the news we would like to bring, but it is the information we need to move us forward.
#IamRRU, are you?
Bossier Parish Duty Free Lunch
Duty- free lunch is something we have had in Caddo for almost 20 years. It came via hard work from the then Caddo Federation which is now Red River United.
We filed a lawsuit last year in Bossier regarding the failure of Bossier to provide a non-work lunch for teachers. We recessed per an agreement with the Bossier administration to address this in their budgetary process. While most schools have complied, there are a couple out there who have not. We need to hear from teachers in those non-compliant schools.
Paid Maternal and Paternal Leave
Red River United is proposing maternity and paternity leave in Bossier, Caddo, and Red River Parishes. We have met with all three administrations. We call ourselves family, well, this is a celebration of family. It is past time we have a paid maternity/paternity policy for all employees, regardless of classification. It is past time that we recognize having a baby is not an illness and should not be treated as such in order to be compensated.
Classroom Management/Establishing Routines
You asked for it, and we delivered! Join us on Saturday, August 20th, from 9:00-11:00 AM at the RRU Office for an awesome session presented by Walnut Hill’s Shannon Smith. Shannon was selected as Walnut Hill’s Teacher of the Year and Caddo’s Teacher of the Year in 2015. She has a plethora of strategies and information for establishing effective management and routines. This can be beneficial to new teachers and veterans alike. Don’t forget all sessions will end with a Know Your Rights Q & A with President Jackie Lansdale, In-House Attorney Elizabeth Gibson, and door prizes!
$50.00 per month for teachers and $25.00 per month for support.