WASTATE Teachers Threaten to Strike


This picture shows nurses on strike. Most nurses work for individual hospitals . As bad as a nurse strike may be, at least in a big cit. y other hospitals can take up the load. There  is no alternative, however, when a school district goes on strike. Now the Washington Education Association (WEA) has announced they plan to expand school closings by calling a strike for May 6th in the Lake Washington district, bringing to eleven the number of school districts subject to union action.

The continued meme of the teacher’s unions is that teachers are overworked and underpaid.  That claim is likely not true.

For one thing, the cries that teachers work hard seem a bit much in society where many others with equal qualifications work more than one job or get along as contract workers.  Moreover, the summer vacation is either a major perk or an additional source of income.

Then there is tenure.  The only argument for tenure at this level (as opposed to the University  level where free speech is a huge issue) has to be that tenure is a good trade off for income.
So, with all that and focusing just on pay and benefits, how much are WA state teachers paid?

2 Comments Add Yours ↓

  1. Roger Rabbit #

    I suspect these teachers would be surprised to learn they’re earning $83,000 to $90,000 a year. If you click through the links to SPI’s tables, SPI says the average base salary for certificated personnel (teachers) is $56,281, for the current school term, which is 110% of the state per capita income. Teaching requires a minimum bachelor’s degree and some teachers have advanced degrees; a 10% pay premium over the general population suggests to me that teachers aren’t being compensated for the educational level their occupation requires. I’m guessing the higher figures represent the employing districts’ total labor costs, which would include not only salary and benefits but also employer-paid payroll taxes and perhaps an administrative overhead component as well. In any case, it’s misleading to use that figure to explain what teachers are paid, when they see nothing close to such numbers in their actual paychecks. Readers also should remember that what legislators are fighting over is a modest cost-of-living increase, against a backdrop where teachers have had NO colas for six years now. Republicans want to balance the state budget by making teachers and state employees go EIGHT YEARS without an inflation adjustment. No one should be shocked if teachers — and state employees — go on strike rather than accept terms of employment like that.

  2. Charlie Tuna #

    I call foul for four reasons: One, the is a rabbit and what rabbit is interested in anything other than eating an copulating? That aside, second, comparing the “advanced degrees” teachers earn with advanced degrees in similar public service jobs is a stretch. Nurses require an advanced degree (their RNB comes before a BSN) just to work in most nursing jobs and after that advanced degrees come pretty tough. Same for advanced degree for cops. By comparison most teachers earn their advanced degrees in courses that often are diploma mill products in the summer. Second, those summers are a pretty nice perk that raises the effective wage by about 18% Third, teachers get T-E-N-U-R-E. That level of job security is worth a lot.

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