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Teachers say state pay cut will hurt them

Posted April 30, 2009
Updated May 1, 2009

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— Public school teachers say Gov. Bev Perdue's latest plan to help balance this fiscal year's budget could prove difficult for them.

Under an executive order that the governor signed Tuesday, state employees' annual salary will be cut by a half-percent in May and June. Employees will then take 10 hours off sometime between June and the end of the year to compensate for the lost wages.

Teachers say state pay cut will hurt them Teachers say state pay cut will hurt them

The pay cuts will save an estimated $65 million and help fill the gap left by an expected $3 billion-plus budget shortfall in the fiscal year ending June 30.

Vicky Crossom, an educator for 13 years, said the plan is disappointing and frustrating, because taking time off is difficult for teachers.

"It's not so easy for teachers to take a day off, because even though they're not (at school), their students still are," she said.

Crissom said that unless the state is willing to pay for substitute teachers, "we can't logically take that time when the children are in class."

The only option, she said, would be a teacher workday.

"And we need that time for planning and parent conferences and continuing education workshops," she said.

Elementary school Principal Mary Page said teachers already don't have enough time to complete their work.

"It won't be easy, and some people probably won't take their day," she said.

Rodney Ellis, vice president of the North Carolina Association of Educators, which represents approximately 60,000 members, believes there must be a better option.

The governor's office said Thursday that it has received more than 600 calls and e-mails since Tuesday's announcement and that the Department of Public Instruction will work out a fair policy for teachers within the next 30 days.

"I hope they're going to find a way so teachers can take that time off, but I really don't see how they're going to be able to do it," Ellis said.

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  • nufsaid May 1, 2009

    Objective Scientist - Funny that you back up your statement with "and I think a poll of all having read your posts would indicate that". You "don't feel I have attacked you or anyone in a "personal way" but I bet that if there was a poll over the post in question (and I think you remember it) I am pretty sure that the results would not back up your feeling.

    You can google for the studies if you want, I have actually seen the study results. I haven't looked to see if they are online.

  • Objective Scientist May 1, 2009

    Nufsaid... overall your posts come across as "painting all teachers with the same brush". Seriously... and I think a poll of all having read your posts would indicate that. Also seriously, I have had no intent of and don't feel I have attacked you or anyone in a "personal way". I have questioned the validity of your statements and whether or not there is factual information to back them up. I think you have made some very good points, but when you state that one group has better salaries and benefits than another and that group is so much better off than others... I want to "see the evidence". Please post a hyperlink or website for the Office of State Personnel studies you mention that support your statements regarding SG - PI. I want to make sure I'm looking at the same thing you are.

  • nufsaid May 1, 2009

    Objective Scientist - I have also seen your posts over the last couple of days, including your personal attacks. First I have not said anything negative about teachers. Only teachers that have been crying over being treated like other state employees for a change. That somehow their situation is worse than everyone else. That is not all teachers by any means. Nobody would expect teachers or other state employees to be happy over bevs decisions.

    You state you totally agree with me on the statement about the massive waste in state government because you have seen evidence of that. Well, I have seen plenty of evidence on the other statements. And you (I believe) and at least one other teacher have agreed that salaries are lower at private schools. If you want to go look at the studies that have been performed by the office of state personnel that back up my statements about other professional positions SG vs PI, be my guest.

  • Objective Scientist May 1, 2009

    Nufsaid... your statement: "The real issue is that there is massive waste in state government at all levels that needs to be addressed." I have seen enough evidence that I totally agree with you on this... but I very much want to know where you get your information, your source of "facts", that would support your case, "back up" all that you have said (almost all negative) over the past day or so, about NC teachers. You have repeatedly made the case that NC teachers have some incredibly "sweet deal", much better than other state employees and better than people in the "private sector". I appreciate your response to my previous post, but you did not answer my question: Where do you get your information? I'd love to see it, and I will gladly concede the validity of all your points, but ONLY if your sources are accurate with valid and reliable information. Again, please tell all of us your source of information about NC teacher salaries and benefits and those to whom you compare them.

  • nufsaid May 1, 2009

    "To Nufsaid, who said: "Actually the teachers have inflated salaries as opposed to private industry. Most other state employees in professional positions earn less. Objective Scientist"

    You have a point in that I may not have been clear. Public school teachers do make a higher salary than teachers in private schools. Not to mention better benefits. And most private schools seem to do pretty well in the category of student achievement and success in higher education. An argument could certainly be made that private schools actually provide a better education.

    Professional positions SG (such as IT, Nursing, Engineering for example) generally earn less that their counterparts in private industry. Although benefits do make up part or even most of the difference.

    So teachers get the benefit both in salary and benefits. They really have had a sweet deal.

    The real issue is that there is massive waste in state government at all levels that needs to be addressed.

  • scoutmomof2 May 1, 2009

    Word is for the new fiscal year, another 2 percent and 20 days leave without pay for the State Employees, plus raises in insurace costs and taxes. May cause a bunch more houses on the market for those who cannot pay.

  • nufsaid May 1, 2009

    "Not a union and not helping. Nonewsisgoodnews"

    You seem reasonable, and I know that there are many great teachers in our schools. But the NCAE does function as a union. The only real difference is they can't call a strike. I agree that the NCAE doesn't help the education process, or really help the most competetent teachers. They are like most unions in that they push for having the most workers possible and don't reward the most productive people any more than the mediocre ones. They promise they will push for pay raises, and that is why many teachers support them. The ones with the most to gain by supporting them are those that are average to mediocre. When everyone gets the same rewards no matter what, it tends to demoralize the best workers. Some will keep up their performance regardless, but more get fed up and just do what it takes to be average. Just human nature. Teachers have been given preferential treatment in relation to other state professional jobs.

  • Objective Scientist May 1, 2009

    To Nufsaid, who said: "Actually the teachers have inflated salaries as opposed to private industry. Most other state employees in professional positions earn less."

    Nufsaid, please reference your source(s) of information for your statements to all of us? 'Inflated salaries as opposed to private industry". Are you saying that NC teachers salaries are significantly greater than someone in "private industry" who has the same level of education and certifications and similar years of experience? You also state: "Most other state employees in professional positions earn less." Are you referring to other "NC" state employees? What makes a position "professional"? At what list of salaries and positions, etc., etc., are you looking? Make your case with facts that can be verified! Give us your sources so that we may "see for ourselves". Such statements without verifiable factual information carry no weight in this debate. Your point may be conceded if you have the proof. Tell us where it is!

  • wjcspanteach May 1, 2009

    I have a friend getting ready to work for his first year in GA. His first year pay will be $35,000/yr. My pay in my 9th year teaching: $38,190. So -- we are not overpaid -- and we are not catered to. AND - I AGREE that all state employees deserve a decent raise. I know that we all work hard and do jobs that NO ONE else would want to do but always gripe about. I am so tired of people (the state, and other people) trying to pit teachers and other state employees against each other. We are in this together, and it is going to take all of our work, sacrifices to get us through this "economic crisis."

  • Nonewsisgoodnews May 1, 2009

    Not likely as long as the special interest groups keep up campaign contributions and lobbying. NCAE is a prime example of a special interest group. And the teachers will by and large keep voting as told by their union. -nufsaid

    Not a union and not helping. I've already not voted for Bev or cared about NCAE. That isn't going to change for me, and after this, I bet a lot of people now feel the same way.

    Look at the rates teachers get paid in other states. For starters, start with Virginia and head north. Then head west. NC doesn't give its teacher's preferential treatment. It hardly competes.

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