Wise County Teachers - No Pay Raise This Year
From the Coalfield Progress we see the post I had about this a while back is holding true. The teachers will get a one time $500 dollar bonus and a increase in insurance premiums.
WISE — If the county school board approves a lean budget proposal it recently received from school officials, teachers won’t get a raise, and the amount they must pay for health insurance will rise.
The school system won’t be asking for more money from the county board of supervisors to balance its budget — other than a few increased bills for electricity and debt service, things are staying pretty much the same.
That’s thanks to the Virginia General Assembly, which at the last minute injected federal economic stimulus dollars into the state’s education budget to offset deep cuts Gov. Tim Kaine proposed earlier this year. Without the $2.8 million in stimulus funds, the school system would be “in serious dire straits,” school Finance Director Ron Vicars said at an April 6 school board meeting.
But the federal stimulus dollars are only guaranteed this year and next year. That’s why school officials propose that teachers and other employees receive not a yearlong raise this year but a one-time bonus — $500 for professional staff and $250 for support staff — at Christmas.
If extra money isn’t in every single check, employees are less likely to budget for it and get used to it, Superintendent Jeff Perry says. That way it won’t hurt as much if the state budget suffers major cuts again in two years when the stimulus dollars go away.
The bonuses will cost the school system about $518,000, but the school board expects to see about $467,000 in savings due to 14 anticipated retirements at the end of this school year.
Wise County Education Association President Ann Wade said that night that she and other WCEA members are disappointed that they weren’t included in budget deliberations. Wade said this was the first time in 37 years that WCEA officials haven’t been invited to a single budget meeting.
Perry said later in the meeting that the WCEA had been involved in “conversations” about the budget.
This could be the first time in 37 years the teachers wont get a raise. I am sure the increase for insurance on top of that has the teachers seeing red.
Here’s what the current employee shares are, and what they might rise to:
• Single: From $17 per month to $39 per month.
• Dual: From $57 per month to $94 per month.
• Family: From $97 per month to $150 per month.
According to Vicars, the school system currently chips in $389 per month for single insurance, $694 for dual and $999 for a family plan.
Even with the increased cost to employees, the school system will have to pay $246,700 more to cover its share of insurance costs.
While I believe teachers should be well paid, I wont shed tears at their loss this year. Wise County teachers have faired well over the years. Unlike most of us here whose jobs depend on the coal business and the ups and downs that go with it, teachers have enjoyed steady employment and pay raises. As our schools rotted from neglect our teachers faired well indeed.