Happy Friday to you too…

So this afternoon we got a list of possible concessions the district expects us to make because the levy didn’t pass.  I just am in shock.  When my coworker read the list, she literally started crying.  Here are some of the highlights:

*4 unpaid days of work totaling a cost of 2% cut to our salaries.  Not so bad, I can handle this one.  My only concern with this one is that it would also include snow days.  So if we have a bad snow and we don’t work, we don’t get paid for those days AND we can’t take vacation days to cover the unpaid days.  So the potential is there to have a paycheck that’s cut in half due to snow days.  Not exactly something one can bargain for.  But this is probably the least worrisome of the concessions.

*Insurance changes.  They want to increase what we pay on our insurance by 20%.  This increases what I pay for my insurance by $1400 a year.  In addition to raising our monthly premiums which, while I don’t like it I do understand that everyone is having pay more for their insurance so it’s a little easier to take but seriously?  20%?!? That’s huge.  I digress, in addition to that, they want to double our high deductible contributions.  A family would have to pay $2400 out of pocket before ANY insurance picks up.  Instead of paying a deductible when we go to the doctor, we have to pay for all of it out of pocket.  So they want to double that.  That would make these cuts total another 4% salary cut.

*Next, salary concessions.  They want to cut our salary back to the income we had two years ago and  put us on an indefinite salary freeze.  This would total an additional 6% salary cut.

*Schedule changes.  They are additionally talking about cutting our work week down to 4 days a week and cutting our salaries to reflect this.  They don’t have numbers to show how this would impact our salaries at this point.

*Overloading classes.  They will apply to the state for a waiver to increase class sizes.  Currently, my district is rated “Excellent with Distinction”.  If they overload our classes, which seriously teachers are already trying to educate 30 students at a time so overloading…I can’t imagine what those numbers will look like.  That’s ridiculous.  Teachers will become babysitters and our state wide test results which seem to be the only thing that administration cares about will most certainly drop.

They have suggested all of this but not told us if it will even save any jobs.  They are currently planning on cutting all art, music, and gym at the elementary and middle school levels and taking the HS down to the state required numbers which let me tell you…it’s not much.  They are also planning on cutting all extracurriculars, honors level courses, electives, and study halls.  In addition to all of that, they are predicting to cut another 70 to 80 jobs depending on the salaries of the teachers they cut.

These cuts are so drastic.  They total a 12% salary reduction for teachers who are already being paid at the second lowest rate in the county we live in.  We are 14/16th for lowest paid employees.  And they want to cut even more.  When will everyone stop blaming the teachers?  We can’t work for free and we can’t teach if we don’t have the resources.  I’m sick about this.  I have begun looking for another job…at this point, I don’t care if it’s teaching related or not as long as it pays the bills.

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