However, PA government (Gov Wolf and Mayor Kenney) has once again ignored Philadelphia teachers and their lack of a fair contract. If you’re one of those people who think teachers only work half the year, or teachers make too much money, or teachers are greedy, blah blah blah, then you clearly don’t know anything about the profession.
Let me inform you of a few things about teachers in Philadelphia.
I’ll make it a list so you don’t get bored too easy.
Teachers work unpaid overtime. They take work HOME. They work during their lunch and break (prep). This is all unpaid. While the normal teaching job looks like 8:30-3:09 on paper, it’s more like 7:30 to at least 4:00, plus whatever time teachers spend grading papers at home. And let me tell you, a good teacher has a TON of things to grade because they give students lots of opportunities to succeed.
Teachers have to steal from home or buy things to bring to work. The PA government and School District of Philadelphia refuse to provide sufficient budgets so each school has enough supplies. That stapler, paper, art supplies, books and everything else FOR THIRTY STUDENTS – yeah, teachers bought that. Sometimes a school has enough in their budget that each teacher gets one case of paper to use for homework, class trip permission slips, and anything else that gets used by students or taken home to parents. Everything you see in your child’s classroom, all those decorations, were all purchased by the teacher. And, they aren’t cheap! Stores like Beckers have made a ton of money by ripping off teachers by selling overpriced supplies because they know teachers struggle to find these materials. Thankfully, the dollar store and Amazon can help save a few bucks, but when you’re buying 30 things from the dollar store, then it’s a $30 trip every time. And guess how much spending cash teachers get each year for their room? $100. That last’s five minutes in any store.
Teachers aren’t rich and don’t make a huge salary. Teacher pay has been frozen without raises or step increases. The way a teacher salary works is this – each year a teacher is in the district, they get a minimal raise (it’s like 1-2%) and they get a “step increase” in their salary. And lets be honest, a starting salary of $45, 360 is embarrassing, but each year you stay with the district, your salary goes up a little bit. After 11 years you can earn $67,705 – not very good after dedicated 11 years to teaching while probably aging your body the equivalent of 20 years. Not a good salary considering how many supplies teachers buy with their own money.- after Philly teachers aren’t asking for a six figure salary, but a fair salary that’s competitive with other school districts. Philly teachers want the money that has been frozen and for them to be placed on the correct salary step. There are plenty of first year teachers who joined the district the same year that the district froze everyone’s salary. That means college grads have been earning a pathetic $45k for 4-5 years. You can’t be an adult on that salary. You can’t start your own family. You can barely afford an apartment in the city if you work there. You can barely afford an apartment anywhere. For $45k, a college graduate who buys all their own supplies for their job cannot even afford to save to buy a house. Really cool, right?
Teachers don’t pay much towards their benefits. Well that’s good. However, there’s nothing wrong with teachers contributing 1-3% towards their benefits IF the teachers get all the money they were robbed of, placed on their correct salary step, and also get $1000 to spend on their classroom supplies each year. What other job tells you to bring your supplies to work? Does a job as a chef tell you to bring the food to cook, or does the restaurant provide it? Does the firehouse ask you to bring your own fire truck? Do police bring their own bullet proof vest? Do doctors bring their own scalpel? Do Septa drivers bring their own bus?
So now that you have a little insight on the extra hours and lack of salary/supplies that teachers have been robbed of, at least you can have a little compassion when you see teachers fighting for what they deserve.
And you know, it would be nice to have a few extra teachers in every school. 20 kids in a class is perfect to provide a quality education. 30 students in a class is too much. Some schools in Philly have 40-60 kids in a class…how can you get anything done in that environment? Not to mention that half the schools in Philadelphia are old and falling apart…
Wolf and Kenney are just two more democrat dissappointments who need to step up, take care of the people who educate this city, and do right by the kids. Mayor Jim already screwed up the soda tax Pre-K thing, so he’s on his last straw as it is. Wolf needs to step up and stop hiding in the shadows.
This needs to be done by January, 2017, or they can throw away any chance of a democrat ever winning an election in Philadelphia again.
No contract = no votes.
And isn’t this silly…
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