Teachers question merits of '7% raise' - Local news, weather, sports Savannah | WSAV On Your Side

Teachers question merits of '7% raise'

Posted: Updated:
GREENVILLE, N.C. -  School officials and teachers spent the day crunching numbers a day after the legislature released its budget.

We spoke to a few of them and most are not happy. Teachers are getting an average 7% raise--not an across the board raise.

Teachers with experience and longevity say they're getting the short end of the stick. “Why treat us differently, why can't we all benefit some?” Marisa Forrest said. “We all have families to support, we all have bills and we are all in the classroom every day.”

Forrest is the only source of income in her house and she was banking on a 7% increase. When she did the math, she’s only getting $7.83 more a month.

“I just cried. I cried and I don't even know what to tell my family.”

The new pay scale is the cause of Forrest’s dilemma. The new scale provided a 7% increase to base salaries; however, annual longevity payments for teachers are eliminated and instead built into a portion of the base salary teachers will be receiving.

Related Material: Budget Highlights

The salary schedule for teachers will be reformed to eliminate yearly step increase. Instead step increases will be provided every 5 years. 

I believe it’s an over simplification, very much a generalization and I feel like the voters and or the teachers would like to hear more direct numbers.” Gene Smith said, a Southside High School teacher. He too is frustrated with lawmakers. 

“I feel like they're trying to look good for the next election.” Smith said. 

Smith’s principal, Dale Cole says any increase is a step in the right direction, but he's also concerned about what this could do to their budget and morale. “I don't want to see teachers pitted against each other; we have to work as a team.”

Cole says cuts to education were made through attrition. When a teacher left, they just didn’t fill the position. 

At this time, there's no telling on what the changes in the budget will have on this school year. District officials are working on that now.

“Teachers come back in a couple weeks and students will start to hit our hallways in less than a month and it does put you into a very tight situation because we've already run one payroll for this school year.” Michael Cowan, Pitt County assistant superintendent for financial operations said. 

Pitt County Schools has 3000 and the budget changes impact all of them. The budget includes $500 for central office staff and educational support professionals (bus drivers, secretaries, cafeteria personnel).

Senator Bill Cook, (R) Beaufort told 9 On Your Side on Wednesday, "I'm glad we came to an agreement, but I'm sure that neither side is happy with what we ended up with....I would have liked bigger increases for the teachers."

Forrest and Smith have both been in contact with their local representatives with this message; new teachers deserve a raise, but we should all be treated equally.

Powered by WorldNow

1430 East Victory Drive
Savannah, GA 31404

Telephone: 912.651.0300
Fax: 912.651.0320
Email: newsemailalert@wsav.com

Can't find something?
Powered by WorldNow
All content © Copyright 2000 - 2014 Media General Communications Holdings, LLC. A Media General Company.