TPS Superintendent: Wage Gap Between Teachers, QT Employees Not A Surprise
TULSA, Oklahoma - A News On 6 story comparing the salaries of QuikTrip employees and Tulsa teachers is getting a lot of attention.
It started when News On Six reporter Emory Bryan posted the two different pay scales to his Facebook page.
The post has more than 3,200 shares and hundreds of comments; and now, Tulsa Public Schools is responding, with the superintendent saying it shouldn't come as a surprise.
Shawna Mott-Wright has been teaching at Tulsa Public Schools for 12 years, but she's still making less than a starting full-time employee at QuikTrip.
"All of the experience and the knowledge that we as educators bring should not be making less than one of my children that just graduated high school. That is disgusting," she said.
The comments poured in on the Facebook post comparing QuikTrip employees' wages and benefits to those of Tulsa Public School teachers.
Most agree that the income disparity is shocking; but some blamed teachers for choosing the profession.
Superintendent Dr. Deborah Gist said, "To me, it’s both offensive and unproductive and just demonstrates a lack of awareness for the situation."
Gist said the salary difference is no surprise.
What's more, QuikTrip employees get raises every six months while Oklahoma teachers haven't seen a universal raise in nearly a decade.
"Unlike other places where teachers get regular and annual increases - step increases plus raises on occasion, we have completely stagnated here in Oklahoma and not at all kept up," Gist said.
Mott-Wright, vice president of the Tulsa teacher's union, has a message for lawmakers:
"If you want to attract and retain teachers, maybe you could start by showing them you value us at least as much QuikTrip values their employees," she said.
The debate is still alive on Facebook and Twitter and there's a lot of room for more, so feel free to weigh in.