Teacher offers his view of salary negotiations

To the editor:

Regarding the

, teachers and salary negotiations, teachers did not get a 3.5-percent raise last year. We got $350. My insurance premium increased $360, and my insurance out-of-pocket went up $1,200.

Our salary schedule has an increase each year of credited service up to 17, then three plateaus after that, lasting four years, five years and forever. The difference in salary for a teacher with 17 years’ credit and 34 years’ credit is $2,000.

Because negotiations have not always gotten a step each year, teachers do not get paid for actual years of service. I have 21 years’ experience, but I am on step 17.

Two or three years ago negotiations garnered no percentage increase, just a step.

Administrators got a 3-percent increase.

So all the teachers on a plateau received no increase that year, but an administrator making $120,000 received $3,600.

If the board wants to cut almost $5 million from the budget, why are some of them pushing an extra two days of school?

Even if they get away with not paying teachers, they’ll still have to pay wage employees, transportation and utilities.

The Mehlville National Education Association represents about 65 percent of teachers, the Mehlville Missouri State Teachers Association represents about 30 percent, but both “unions” — Missouri teachers are not allowed to have real union representation nor to engage in typical union activities — should work together in negotiations.