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State senator: Teachers lucky not to have to work Thanksgiving and Christmas

It’s not a new argument from North Carolina conservatives; we’ve been hearing from the so-called “free market think tanks” for years. Still it was a bit of an eye opener to read the following letter from State Senator Warren Daniel to a North Carolinian who expressed concerns about the state’s abysmal teacher salaries (as first posted at the site Pay Our Teachers First):

“Ms. Greene,

Do teachers teach because they love teaching, & they love children, or
because they are paid at some national average? Are you considering that
in addition to the State salary, teachers also make approximately 14
thousand dollars in taxpayer paid benefits, and most counties have salary
supplements? In addition, compared to similarly situated state
employees, a teacher’s work year is approximately two months shorter.
While a department of corrections employee or a highway patrolman may
have to work on Christmas and Thanksgiving, teachers receive vacations
for every major holiday and are with their families. These are factors
that are almost never mentioned in this discussion. Noone believes that
a teacher’s job is easy, but neither are the jobs of many of our state
employees.

I hope that we are able to give all of our state employees a raise the
session, but as you mentioned we do have serious budget issues to contend with. And sometimes the only solution to that, is to gore someone
else’s ox in the form of cuts to other departments.

Thank you for your comments, and for recognizing that we have serious
government challenges in this economic downturn.

Sincerely,

Senator Warren Daniel
NC Senate District 46
Burke, Cleveland”

 

 

6 Comments

  1. Concerned Teacher

    May 6, 2014 at 8:57 pm

    Senator Warren,
    Let’s take a look at your salary and what is the average of you and your fellow senators. Now since you are doing the same amount of work and possibly more in NC because of the new budget crisis and work in NC let’s decrease your pay 12-15%. At least that’s what the NC teachers are facing. So before you open your mouth again and say something else that will send more teachers to SC, TN, or VA think about what NC teachers want. We want to be paid as the rest of our fellow teachers, the national average. Like you we work hard for what we get.

  2. NCteacher78

    May 7, 2014 at 7:38 am

    If this senator wants to compare teachers with all other state employees, then let’s apply overtime pay to teachers. Take in account grading papers until 7pm, being volun-told to work school dances, parent nights, and other evening events. Heck I might even work holidays for double holiday pay- so long as everyone’s kids have to come to school on those days too. That should go over well with parents who make family plans during holidays.

  3. Ted

    May 7, 2014 at 5:13 pm

    “And sometimes the only solution to that, is to gore someone else’s ox in the form of cuts to other departments.”

    Yep … or you could consider going FDR’s route and jack up the tax rate to 70-90% on the rich. But, of course, the human coat-hangers that inhabit our State house are such good slaves to their corporate masters that they’d never even consider the fact that they do, in fact, have fully functional spines.

  4. Andrew Garfinkel

    May 7, 2014 at 6:35 pm

    If this guy wants teachers to work on Thanksgiving and Christmas, then he better be sure that parents will send their kids to school those days. I don’t think so …

  5. Mr. B

    May 7, 2014 at 7:42 pm

    Well, something that is hardly ever mentioned is this: I had a choice of being paid as a “12 month” employee or “10 month” employee. It’s my money all the same, they just withhold a certain amount each month to pay me for those month that I am not actually at school with a classroom of students. So technically, I am not paid 12 months salary for only 10 months of work. I just bring home less a month since I elected to be paid as a 12 month employee.

    Not everyone realizes this and I will say this: everything a good teacher makes is earned and deserved. I do not get anything “for free”. And as far as receiving good benefits – why shouldn’t fellow teachers and I receive this? Others in NC state employment do and we are just as deserving.

    Teaching is the one job where overtime is expected and encouraged -or at least it is from where I stand. A co-worker and I were talking about the ridiculous amount of overtime put in. if we punched a clock, you better believe things would be different as evidenced by the hourly workers at my school – when it is time for them to leave – they are expected to leave. Teachers, on the other hand, could stay all night I think and it would be ok.

    Keep it up North Carolina, you are going to lose more of your good teachers and where are you going to be?? From what I see, some of the new crops of teachers coming in don’t share a lot of the dedications some of the old timers do.

  6. Tom white

    May 8, 2014 at 6:57 am

    Do other state employees you mentioned have to have a bachelors degree AND be liscensed by the state and have continuing education?