Raise for subs will barely cover lunch

 

February 27, 2012

Is it not the responsibility of the MCCSC to provide the public with a complete and clear list of agenda topics for each monthly school board meeting?

If anyone had been tracking the issue of substitute teacher compensation post-president Jim Muehling’s “pre-emptive comment” delivered in December, where he said “Peggy Chambers would be reviewing not only substitute teacher compensation but compensation of all nonunion support staff” in the near future, they would have, like me, been caught unawares by the announcement at a board meeting last month that Ms. Chambers was recommending a $3 dollar per day “raise” for MCCSC substitutes.

And where was this breaking news listed on the agenda? Conveniently hidden within the agenda topic of “SUPPORT STAFF HANDBOOK.”

To the casual observer, one might think, “Gee, that must be topics related to dress code, maybe computer use, ‘code of ethics’ and policy statements, or even rules regarding safety on the job or the annual employee picnic,” but not a “meat and potatoes” discussion of employee pay scale review!

A clever “smoke and mirrors” dodge by the administration and/or our school board, wouldn’t you say? The hot topic of substitute teacher compensation has been with us for almost a year now. For the past decade, the pay rate for MCCSC sub teachers has been flat; they have never been privy to the annual incremental pay increases awarded to other dedicated support staff members.

Plus, with the new (and questionably popular) extended day, these essential and educated individuals took a 15 percent pay cut, e.g., no pay adjustment for the extra hour per day they log.

Consider this: Your child during the course of their K-12 education will spend one (1) year under the guidance of a substitute teacher. And our school corporation feels that such a responsibility warrants the same compensation as a McDonald’s fry cook or roughly $8.25/hour; a rate that Peggy Chambers feels is in line with what other corporations pay their guest teachers with the exception of Richland-Bean Blossom, which, according to Chambers, is our “greatest competitor” for acquiring educated “fry cooks.”

The national average pay rate for substitute teachers is $105/day. But living in what appears to be a less-than-average community with less-than-average school leadership, that extra $3 a day will at least pay for a cafeteria lunch. So, count yourselves lucky, sub teachers — MCCCS is picking up the check! (Gratuity not included.)

 

By David Wierhake

Special to the H-T

Copyright: HeraldTimesOnline.com 2012

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