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Perdue cuts pay of state employees, teachers

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RALEIGH -- North Carolina Gov. Beverly Perdue has cut the pay of all state employees and teachers by half a percent. Perdue signed an executive order Tuesday that says employees will receive 10 hours of flexible time off in exchange for the loss in pay. She said says the move will save $65 million this year, although that's relatively small compared to the $3 billion budget shortfall the state now expects to see this year. Perdue said in a statement she also has identified ways to close the remaining budget gap. She said that will include more special funds, tapping the state's Savings Reserve Account and using federal recovery dollars. The Democrat said the economic crisis has forced her "to make difficult decisions." (Copyright 2009 by The Associated Press. All Rights Reserved.)

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So why did you become a teacher?

You paint a picture that describes a level of hell that Dante dared not write of. Your vision of teaching seems devoid of any satisfying moments, such as when the student who "just isn't getting it" suddenly has an epiphany and grasps the material....or when that student walks up to you at end-of-grade with tears in his or her eyes and thanks you for the year. Perhaps this pay reduction coming on top of the agony you feel every day will motivate you to find a more pleasant career?

Don't get me wrong.

I love children. I love teaching. There's nothing in the world I love doing more than teaching. There are MANY satisfying moments throughout my day. I'm just trying to paint a picture of how it is so that some senator or member of congress or high tailed person can see that teaching is a very HARD job. If I didn't have a passion to teach children you better believe I would have picked a totally different profession. Better pay, better hours, better benefits, better security. Yeah I could have choosen a different profession. But I chose to teach the future of this country.

...but YOU chose it!

There's nothing sillier than teachers complaining about low pay. It is a well known fact that teachers make dirt. It's always been that way. Unless people take control of their own destiny, it's always going to be that way. As long as there is no shortage of people willing to be teachers, there is no NEED to raise salaries. Salaries, like any other cost, are dictated by supply and demand. Big supply=low pay. Until college graduates say, "No thanks" to teaching, and we're facing a national teacher shortage, wages are going to stay low. (Nursing pay didn't rise until we had that national shortage a few years ago.) Teachers get immense satisfaction from their job. They get respect from the community. In large cities like Chicago and New York, they get employment for life regardless of any ability to teach. (NYC has over one thousand "teachers" who never enter a classroom because of their emotional problems or incompetence, but they're tenured and draw full salary for doing NOTHING.) One thing teachers don't get is a lot of money.

Wow

That sounds like the job you were hired and accepted and get paid to do. We all can break our jobs down to the same minute tasks and make it seem overwhelming. I agree teaching can be tough, but so is mine and I don't get a quarter of the time you get off a year.

But do you get paid for the

But do you get paid for the time you get off? I don't. Do you have a clue as to what you are going to face each day when you go to work? I don't. Do you have 30- 120 people that you are responsible for each day? I do. Will you loose your job if the 30-120 people you are managing a day mess up in their jobs, refuse to work or are incompetent to do the job they were hired for? I will (Thank you NCLB). That is the way the system is set up. I am expected to fight work and grades out of kids, force them to learn the information that the state says is important and maintain order in a room full of 35- 40 teenagers everyday. And the thing is-- I do it-- and I do not complain. and I work 60- 80 a week to do this job, on top of the two other jobs I work in order to pay my bills because I love this job, it is a calling. However, what I did not "sign on for" as you put it, was pay that I have already earned being taking away from me, was assistance (who work with special needs children at my level) being cut and my classes exploding to 38- 40 kids—many of which with special needs and no assistants to help them-- with no textbooks or supplies because we cannot afford them. And everyday, there seems to be a new email about how much less money they are going to give us next year. So I ask you, have you ever walked into work, to a job on which you have a salary contract, and been told that your check has been cut by $250 and that from now on, you are going to be working for free for one month out of the year? (Because that is how much they are proposing to take from us next year) If this happened to you, would you complain? Because this is DEFINATLY NOT what I signed on for!

Yes I do.

Again with this "I don't get paid for my summers off" argument. You do get paid a salary for the year how you save that to make it last is your responsibility. I make the same as you do and still have to work all year round. I work with a caseload of 30-35 kids too. But I don't get to leave them at 3:30. I have to go spend time with them at their homes and in the community. I work with kids and families that are not very well off mentally and financially. And to talk about pressure, if I screw up or don't fight the kids to do better as you say, someone usually gets hurt and in some cases killed. Who is the one who they turn to for answers, me. I also did not sign up for half the stuff that I am expected to do on a daily basis. I am not trying to put down teaching because I know that working with kids is hard from experience, but I think that what bothers me and a few others is that teachers think that they are on a different level than everyone else when it comes to job difficulty, needed respect and feeling of importance. We all have hard jobs, all state employees lost money and are subject to reductions in supplies and services and we all are hurting right now. I have to pay for a lot of my own supplies that aren't "essential". I spend a lot on my own money on things for the kids that they do not get from home like food and clothes. So I guess a little less talking from the teachers throne and a little more respect for all who have tough jobs and tough situations.

Let's use the trickle down effect

Let's try this and see if it works. Let's start with the State School Board - get rid of some of the "sitting in our leather chairs, making stupid decisions" positions. That should free up some money. Start cutting out those unnecessary expenses, sports (if necessary) or at least a lot of travel, field trips, etc. These may be temporary measures until things pick up, but under no circumstances, should teachers or assistants be lost. Education is far too important to begin losing those who are striving to teach our children. I suggest our Governor start looking around her own circle, and see what deadbeats could be let go. Or if I may ask the question: is she ready to make that type of sacrifice herself? Is she ready to get rid of the friends and the ones that depend on her for their money (however it is handed out) or is she ready to sacrifice whomoever she can so that she can keep the votes from those who have the money to buy them?

Do we really need

Do we really need all the support staff at the Board of Ed? Do we need several PHDs on staff? Maybe, we need to start looking at the top to cut and not in the class room. With less teachers I think we can do away with some of at the top.

State employees suffer

My husband and I are both State employees in the education system, though we are staff, not faculty, so we are losing income on both sides. I make barely over $30k, Gov. Perdue's "cut off" figure for additional paycuts and furloughs. In spite of these cuts, our insurance costs have increased- deductible doubled, dependent coverage price increased, co-pays increased, etc. Our child is in college thinking about becoming a teacher and we are encouraging her NOT TO become one, though we think teaching is one of the most important jobs. Maybe we should look at some of the higher salaries for additional funding needs, like people who make over $100k- maybe they could kick in a slightly higher percentage. And if MARY EASLEY's employment contract is renewed in the new fiscal year starting July 1, we should all strike!

It's Not Complaining it's a Shame!

The Bible mentions those who labor in the faith should be rewarded. Likewise, those who labor for our children should be rewarded. It's a shame that educators are expected to be and perform as "professionals" but are not paid as such. And yes, most realize this and do the job for the love of the children and because that is what God has put in their hearts to do. So why pick on the overworked and underpaid? Because they're easy targets? Because they don't have a big enough voice? Why not dock the pay of doctors, lawyers, all other "professionals", and the insensitive person who wrote the previous comment? And the biggest ?, why not take the money from the so called Education Lottery?! It is a shame and there will no doubt be consequences to pay.

I am sorry the teachers and

I am sorry the teachers and state employee's are being asked to contribute to the state's financial situation. But just remember it could be worse, you could be asked to pay for your own health insurance. I believe it is provided to you for free. Your bill is paid by the remaining residents of NC.

You couldn't be more wrong.

You couldn't be more wrong. Teachers are paying for it; it's just not coming out of the check we see. What an ignorant thing to say. Do you get any benefits from your job: sick leave, vacation, insurance, etc. Who the heck do you think pays for that stuff?

Stop Complaining

I have read all these comments and cannot believe what I am hearing especially from some that are teachers. Why are you complaining about your pay, if you think you get paid to low why did you become a teacher. It's not all suppose to be about money. if you wanted to make more money then you should have went to college for something else. And Teacher assistants and bigger class size, give me a break, when I was in elementary school back in the later 70's there was no such thing as teacher assistants and we did have bigger class sizes. I heard someone refer to teaching as babysitting, I would love to know who you are because I would never allow you to teach my child. Our children go to school to be taught not to be babysat, and if you feel you are babysitting then I feel you are not doing your JOB!!!

Are you serious?

Have you ever stepped foot in a classroom? Has half of the people who are making these riduculous laws ever stepped foot in a classroom? Try taking off coats of 24 kindergarteners, teaching them how to do math, how to learn to read, feeding them snacks, trying to teach them the tedious task of sounding out each word trying to help them learn how to write (times 24 kids each of them holding their hand up saying your name over and over and over) then getting all their hands washed for lunch, having them stand in a line quietly, opening 24 milk cards, 24 mustard packs, cleaning up three spilled milks, making sure they all are eating their food before they eat their ice cream, having three kids come up to you asking you to take them to the bathroom, swallowing your one bite of food whole, then getting them all the throw their food away, get in line, go to the bathroom, get them back in the classroom, read a story with the three in the back of the row picking on each other, getting all their homework ready in their folders, while writing a note to each of their parents about how good (or bad) their child was at school today and then getting all their coats on (24 kids) making sure they have their backpacks, lunchboxes and a library book to read at home, lining them; one line of bus riders, one line of car riders, one line for Good News Clubs, walking them all down the noisy hall to their destined places to make sure they make it safely home telling each of them goodbye with a smile....... YOU EXPECT ME TO DO EVERYTHING I JUST SAID WITHOUT AN ASSISTANT?????? Seriously. Teacher

Agreed

I totally agree. No one goes into teaching expecting to make a lot of money and if they did...they shouldn't be teaching. There are plenty of others out there who make less and don't complain and threaten strikes the way teachers do. Let's not forget that our state has always ranked low in education in this country.

Back in the 70's

Back in the 60's and 70's we did have bigger classes, BUT the schools and teachers were NOT held accountable like they are today through state testing!!!! Times have changed and the state expects no student to fall between the cracks as they have before with classes being far too big.

Back in the 70s

Excuse me you do did not have bigger classes. I am graduating this year, Class of 2009. By records every year since 2002 the classes have increased and my class is the biggest yet to ever come through the state of NC. Try fitting 45 people into one computer room. Try 40 people in a Geometry class. My class this year broke 2008 and 2007s class of my school its gets worse.

I guess it would be okay

I guess it would be okay with you if tomorrow you go to work and your boss tells you that starting next week I'm going to dock your pay....it's nothing you did, I just don't want to pay you what I am paying you. You wouldn't complain would you? If you said you wouldn't then it's obvious you don't work. It's easy to sit at home and comment on those that bust their rears day in and day out

As a matter of fact, the

As a matter of fact, the company that I work at we have 169 employees and all 169 employees had to take a 10% pay cut, we no longer get holiday pay or vacation pay and we do not get our insurance paid for anymore, so yes it is happening everywhere.

Maybe if parents took

Maybe if parents took responsibility for their child and disciplined them, teachers wouldn't have to babysit their kids. Some of these kids just come to school to visit friends and sell drugs....some of these kids have even been suspended for the year by the admin. But their parents don't want them home so they cry to the school board and those students are right back at it with in a week. So yes, teachers DO have to babysit some of these pathetic kids....and it's all because their parents don't care. If you don't believe that is how it is, visit a school and sit in a classroom. See for yourself

Stop Complaining ?

I have basically worked my whole life to get an education to become a teacher. I have given just about all I can give. It really upsets me how the state has discouraged teachers, especially new ones. I think the person who wrote about stop complaining has no idea what she is talking about. Times are different that when she was in school except now we have an education lottery that is supposed to help the schools, and it has failed miserably. I think the state needs to be careful as to how they treat teachers from here on out, or they might not have any left. There is no incentive anymore.

re: Stop Complaining

I don't know how any parent could possibly say the things you have said in your posting! I currently teach public school in NC, I took this job fully aware of the pay that I would be receiving and I love my job despite the pay. I am completely amazed that any PERSON could possibly think that taking money out of ANYONE'S pay check with only a month's notification is okay. As teachers we sign a contract, just like any other salaried employee, our contract just happens to be backed by the state and local government. For someone to think that it is okay to dock NC employee's pay checks to recover a budget deficit for the ENTIRE state is ridiculous! Why should I bail out the entire state? How is it okay to penalize the very people that do their jobs because they want to help people, not because they love the pay? Do I think that state employees are paid too little? Of course I do. Do I think that the vast majority of these people took these jobs for reasons other than the money? Yes. Now, do I think that just because we took jobs that we love and are passionate about we should not be compensated for them? NO. Just because I took my job based on passion and not a paycheck, does not mean that I do not need money to exist! I am outraged that anyone in their right mind would imply that because I am a teacher I should not be upset about my pay check being docked without my consent! I may love my job, but LOVE doesn't pay my mortgage or my car payment! You should be ashamed of yourself! As for your class-size and teacher assistant comments...YOU are a PARENT, why would any parent not find a problem with increased class sizes and decreased external support? I find it hard to believe that any parent that held their child's best interests in mind would want them to be in classes that were overcrowded and under funded. It seems to me that the teachers advocating for smaller classes care more about your child than you do! Further, would you like to know why some teachers refer to their jobs as babysitting? Well here it is...maybe it is that we have upwards of 30-35 students in one classroom at any given moment, 30-35 students that have parents like you, parents with little to no concern for the people that they ship their children off to everyday. Parents with a complete lack of respect for teachers, the teaching profession, and education in general. So with such a "positive" force governing their lives at home, you can imagine the "overwhelming respect" we get at school. I signed up to be a teacher, I did not sign up to be penalized for the entire state's mistakes OR to be berated by ignorant comments like yours! Obviously the increased class sizes and lack of external support in the late 70's (when you were in school) did wonders for you intelligence!! I just hope that I can continue doing my job so that YOUR children grow up to be more enlightened adults than YOU are!

I couldn't have said it

I couldn't have said it better myself!!

pay cut for state employees

I don't care if we are teachers, corrections officers, DOT workers, or whatever you may do for this state of NC that we live in. This is not right. And if we take the pay cuts for May and June, then they are just going to do it again in the near future. I am a single mother, don't get me wrong, I am glad to have a job, but need every dime I make as does everyone else. And if it were only these two months, it maybe wouldn't be so bad, But everyone knows it's not the end of it. And this isn't going to help. The government doesn't know how to run this state or we wouldn't be in this shape to begin with. And when they take our money, they're just going to throw some big party later to celebrate and probably talk about how stupie us state workers are. We need to do something.

Education Cuts

I totally agree with the comments about the cuts. As a teacher, I don't like but am willing to handle the .5% cut in my pay,but as a parent I totally disagree with cutting teaching positions and totally against the assistants being cut. They already have to be shared with other teachers and have been limited in what they can do...without them we are not going to be able to get anything done. Where is the lottery money?????????? What about other cuts and programs being done away with? I think someone in Raleigh needs to rethink some plans before the state of NC is #50 in education. (or are we already there?)

Education Cuts

I am a teacher and yes, I am upset about the fact that our pay has been cut. As a parent, I am MUCH more upset with the fact they are discussing adding 2 more students in each classroom AND eliminating Teacher Assistants in the classrooms. TAKE ACTION as a community memember. OUR CHILDREN'S EDUCATION IS AT RISK! Teachers love their jobs and will continue to give their heart and souls. HOWEVER, if your child is in a classroom with 30 students (many with special educational or emotional needs) and without a teacher assistant, they loose. They don't get the individual attention they need to excel and meet thier needs. I can handle a minor pay cut but I can't handle my kids education being jeopardized. It is a systemic problem. I am happy to have a job, but I don't want our children to suffer because of poor planning.

I agree...I'd rather have a

I agree...I'd rather have a pay cut of .05 % than lose my job...but now they are wanting a 10% pay cut for state employees next. For a ten month employee, this is working for free for a whole month. Can I not pay my bills for a whole month or should I just send them to Raleigh???

Educator pay cuts

OK...I have read many of the comments left regarding educator pay cuts. I just have this to say...what is the going rate for a babysitter these days? About $10 an hour on average. Take an elementary teacher for example. She/he may have 25 students for 7 hours. So, 25 x $10 x 7 hours a day = $1750 Now take that for the 180 days they teach that equals $315,000.00 just for the days that we have students. This doesn't include the other days we work on lesson plans, or attending workshops, or even the hours spent at home grading papers and planning. $315,000.00...WOW our salaries are no where near that, and we actually do more than babysit. Can we all agree that going backwards is defintely not the answer...we have not even begun to go forward with salaries. Beginning teachers make an average $32,000.00 a year

teacher pay

I just spoke to my sister in NY yesterday, who stated that she would be retiring in the next three years with a pension of $90,000 a year for the rest of her life. She currently makes ~$120,000 a year. NY is usually rated either #1 or #2 nationwide for schools. However, a normal house pays over $8000 a year in property/school taxes. My question for NC is: where does the money go? We pay taxes, we play the lottery, we donate paper and supplies, we buy the books and wrapping paper in the fundraisers, and we still have no money for teachers salaries.

Show me the money!

I completely agree with you. I am a teacher and am struggling enough as it is with the salary that I do bring in each month. And now they are going to take some of it away from me because the economy sucks? Where is my $315,000.00 Bev?