New Tulsa Teachers' Contract Offers Slight Raise For Experience
TULSA, Oklahoma - The Tulsa School board is voting on a new teacher contract, and though it outlines new measures for accountability, it does not include a pay raise beyond the slight increase for another year of experience.
Teachers weren't really expecting a raise, because that's largely determined by the state budget, but the lack of an increase doesn't help encourage people to stay or decide to go into teaching out of college.
Tulsa's classroom teachers will get a pay raise, but only the kind connected to having taught another year. It's an average pay increase of just over one-percent.
Despite that, the teachers union agreed to the deal.
TLE Observation And Evaluation Handbook
"Most of the teachers in our district will only be seeing $400 for the entire year, and when you back their seven-percent retirement out of that and give the government it's 25 percent, we have teachers who will see about a $20 increase for the month,” said Linda Hendrix with Tulsa Classroom Teachers.
The union has a congenial relationship with the district, and is more critical of the state when it comes to salaries, but does believe TPS could pay more.
“Make some cuts other places, because you've got to boost these salaries, we are not competitive with the districts around us,” Hendrix said.
The contract offers teachers no base pay raise, but does have step raises for longevity.
2013/2014 Salary Schedule
New teachers will start at just over $33,000 per year, while the most educated and experienced teachers top out at $57,000.
Bradley Eddy with Tulsa Public Schools said, "From what we've learned, it's not always about money, the reasons that they stay."
For the district, the salary is an issue in hiring and retention, and there are never enough applicants.
The district is 53 teachers short right now, prompting some innovation in getting people to apply.
"Even Craigslist, we've gone out on Craigslist and had some success, but that might increase the pool, but are we bringing the right person in,” Eddy said.
Ironically, the new contract could make the teacher shortage more severe. It includes all the new more critical evaluation standards for teachers, which is expected to push more teachers out of the classroom.