Friday, 22 February 2013 00:00
Let me hasten to say that no one envies the school board’s position as it relates to the upcoming teacher’s salary negotiation. All we have as a guide is the hindsight of the soon to be concluding five-year contract. Given that we are faced with the same conditions going forward, are we to expect the same results?
Were we to conclude similar contract terms in 2014 as we did in 2009, then in 2019 at the end of the contract, median teacher salaries would rise from its current $112,500 a year to one that will be in the $149,000 area. Average benefits would rise from $40,000 to $55,000. If the teacher census remains where it is now, teacher salaries alone will approximate $72 million plus contribution to benefits.
Is that the contract we want the community to accept? Have we come to a point where we are setting up a battleground between a community and its teachers? We genuinely appreciate what our teachers have accomplished and they now earn both our respect and the handsome salaries that are more than generous in today’s times.
But when is it okay to say… enough? Is it responsible to pile more burden onto the backs of our community with escalating taxes?
At some point, people flee a community, stores close and don’t reopen and the spirit of our community begins to fade.