Edison teachers upset about pay freeze, low base pay

Stalled contract negotiations frustrate teachers, about 60 of whom attended Wednesday's school board meeting
Aaron Krause
Oct 18, 2012

 

About 60 teachers in the Edison school district attended Wednesday's board meeting to express frustration with stalled contract negotiations and what they consider base pay that is too low.

The teachers all wore light green shirts bearing the words "Edison Teachers Association" on the front and "Achieving Excellence Year After Year" on the back.

Edison High School teacher Ryan Meredith spoke on behalf of the teachers, reading from a statement. Several times, a round of applause followed his statements.

"As a representative of the Edison Teachers Association, I am here tonight to convey the concerns, questions and frustrations of our 90-plus members to you, the Edison Local School Board," Meredith said. "This is a very emotional time for all involved."

Meredith said Edison teachers' base pay is ranked third from the bottom in the county. He added if the State Teachers Retirement System pickup is negated, "Edison's base pay will be dead last in the county.

"Because of the hard work and dedication of the members of the Edison Teachers Association and the parents and students of our community, the Edison Local School District has been rated Excellent and Excellent with Distinction for most of the last 10 years."

Meredith also spelled out the history of this year's negotiations between the school board and the Edison Teachers Association. The first session took place on April 27, the second on May 1 and the third on June 4. At the conclusion of the latter session, the parties agreed to call in a federal mediator.

The first mediation session took place on July 2 and it was the only such session, Meredith said.

"No further contact was made to come back to the table and a letter was sent to the Edison Teachers Association declaring 'ultimate impasse' on Aug. 28, 2012 and a salary step freeze was unilaterally implemented.

"Based on these facts, the Edison Teachers Association asks, 'Why?'"

Later in the meeting, long after the teachers left, board president Jodi Harris said while members of the body listened, they chose not to respond publicly because negotiations are ongoing.

After the meeting, superintendent Tom Roth told reporters he could not comment, other than to say the two sides have reached an "ultimate impasse."

The teachers who attended had more questions.

"Excellent teachers, giving their all every day for the Edison community, already being paid lower than most of their colleagues in the county are now expected to have their salaries frozen and further decimated. Why?

"After three regular negotiations sessions and one mediation session, the Edison Teachers Association is supposed to believe that the board and its representatives have done all they can to bargain in good faith. Why didn't the board meet with the association's negotiation team and the federal mediator and sit across the table from us and declare ultimate impasse?"

Meredith said that instead, teachers received a letter about the impasse.

"Why?" he asked.

Former board member Don Gurney asked the board to "stand up for what's right, not politically correct."

The school district is asking voters to approve a five-year, 3.5-mill additional levy on Nov. 6.

Gurney asked district treasurer Jude Hammond how much that levy would raise if voters pass it.

Hammond said $816,000.

That will only get the district through a year, at best, Gurney said.

"You're not even raising enough money to negotiate in good faith," he said. "Come together, put away your Tea Party attitude and do your job for the kids."

A round of applause followed that remark.

Meredith asked the board to re-instate the salary steps and return to the bargaining table, a request which was met with further applause from the teachers.

In related business, Hammond told the board he received 44 step grievances from the teachers' union. Board members decided to hold a special board meeting at 4 p.m. Nov. 9 to listen to those grievances. The meeting will most likely take place in executive session.

Comments

citizen4change

Get Facts Straight, I was a marksmanship instructor in the U.S Marine Corps and to me the hardest recruits and Marines to teach the fundamentals of marksmanship to were the ones who had never help a weapon before in their lifes. You had to start from ground up with those people. So in reference to Swiss's comment about it being easier to teach the younger students I'm thinking she is full of crap. For the simple fact these young kids have to be taught everything. AM I WRONG in thinking this?

Get Facts Straight

You are spot on right! However, each age has it's unique requirements and challenges. Just shows how ignorant some people are with regards to teaching and education in general. If it's so easy, how come they aren't doing it??? Thanks for supporting education!!!!

truckin

If you are correct, then why is there lower requirements for tier 1 teachers. Lower requirements, less education, easier test to get certified for the lower grade levels. I know alot of teachers who did just enough to get certified only for grade kindergarten or 1st. Heck look at the Milan principal, he is only rated tier 1 or something like that, he is not even certified to teach any grade above 2nd? yet Edison needed a wrestling coach and for fear of him getting laid off during the cuts a few yrs back, flipped him to principle. convenient. Explain that, miss GENIOUS

ERNesbitt

Teachers choose which certification tests to take in order to teach certain age levels. None of these are easy tests. There are also specific tests for each age range involving childhood development, ethics, age-appropriate teaching methods, and psychology. Most teachers know which age ranges they enjoy teaching and will get certified in those ranges (Pre-K, K-8, 8-12). However, unless they wish to specialize in Pre-K, most teachers will go for their chosen age group, or take both tests and do a K-12 certification.

Also, realize that in order to be an administrator you also require a Masters Degree in business or administration. So instead of getting additional certifications, the principal chose to spend two more years in school and get certified to do something else. I don't know about your job, but having the ability to do things outside the scope of your job description is usually required for advancement in any company.

Nepotism works both ways. Sometimes the crony gets the job, sometimes you get the job because you're the crony. Personally, I applaud any school system (or any company for that matter) that promotes from within before looking outside for candidates. But regardless, certain jobs can only go to those who are qualified.

- '96 EHS grad (not a teacher)

justmyopinion

@truckin~ you have no idea what you are talking about!! I have been a teacher for over 20 years and can say with confidence there is no such thing in Ohio as "tier 1" teachers who are less educated than any other teacher. Teachers are certified based on the grade levels they teach. All teachers must have at least a bachelor's degree to be licensed by ODE in the areas of early childhood (PreK-3), middle grades (4-9) or high school (7-12 or 9-12). Teachers who were certified prior to about 2005 will hold licenses in K-8, 1-8 or 7-12. The only exception may be pre-school teachers who have an associates degree in early childhood education. They would only be able to teach pre-school. FYI- Mr. Hermes, the priciPAL at Edison Elementary, is licensed to teach PreK-3. He also holds a masters degree in school administration. Before you comment you might want to get your facts straight.

swiss family

in a word....YES !!!!

swiss family

ummmm @ citizen4change....please tell me that you are NOT seriously comparing 6 year olds to marines???you taught marksmanship to ADULTS, who were merely inexperienced at shooting guns..whereas, a first grade teacher is teaching and re-enforcing the alphabet, numbers, colors,you know... concepts that they have no idea of what you are talking about, and NONE of it that will potentially kill or seriously injure anyone.... AN ADULT Marine , on the other hand usually has had some knowledge of a gun.. they have either used one before, probably improperly, and not with the marksmanship skills that you will teach them, but have probably used one, seen one, know people that have used them, and maybe even know people who were injured by them...so your comparison makes no sense at all... you are comparing raising children, to training assassins... sorry , but not even close to the same thing..,but congratulations on taking the opportunity to toot your own horn, by bragging about your skills, although it had nothing to do with the toipic

swiss family

yes>>>>>>>>yes>>>>>>>>>yes>>>>>YOU ARE!!!!

teiwaz

Swiss, I've read some ignorant comments coming from you, but this one takes the cake. If you honestly believe that younger kids are easier to teach than older kids, you are living in some scary parallel universe. Teaching kids well in their early years is a huge responsibility; it sets the stage for kids' attitudes and scholastic performance in later grades, as well as instilling in them a love of learning that lasts their entire lives. The negative impact of a teacher on a student in the primary grades is often never overcome. Get your head out of your behind and quit posting about things you are not competent to address. Of course, if you did that, we'd never hear from you again. Hmmmmm.

truckin

Sorry i have to defend swiss here..No one is saying it's easier or has it's impacts, or even that Mr. Hermes isn't a great guy and very good with kids. BUT facts are facts. Qualification level, Testing Certifications are all lower. I am qualified to drive larger, heavier equipment with a class A CDL than a class B. Do you think the pay per hr should still be equal??

Get Facts Straight

Once again, you are wrong. There are no tier 1 certifications in education. Not sure where you got your "facts" but you are wrong. All teachers go through the same rigorous training no matter what levels they are teaching. There are no such qualification level or testing certifications of which you speak. And don't take that to mean that there are NO qualifications or testings that teachers go through to become teachers. I'm sure you will choose to spin that. Don't speak on things you know nothing about.

swiss family

good point truckin!!!!

swiss family

if you could actually READ what I said... I said that it is EASIER to teach the lesser grades.. I did NOT say it was more or less IMPORTANT>........you obviously were never very good at reading and especially reading comprehension...if you want to see what I am talking about ... i will quote you and tell you to "get your head out of your behind" and picture the scenario of a 2nd graders first day of school... at the dinner table that night the child tells about the teacher, and if she is nice or not,..and will sometimes even ask if they can take an apple to school tomorrow for the teacher....now imagine that same kid as a Junior in high school... do you think you will even hear the teachers name mentioned to you, BEFORE he tells you what a jerk they are or how unfair they are etc...and trust me.. I doubt that any high school teacher has ever gotten an apple from a student...so you tell me.. which would be EASIER to teach?????...................oh and if this really does "TAKE THE CAKE" like you implied... can it be German chocolate???and maybe for Monday??? I will plan on that as a treat, and have plenty of cold milk on hand!!! thank you!!!

Get Facts Straight

How do you know it's "easier" to teach the lesser grades? What qualifies you to make that statement? Once again, you are WRONG!

Edwin Ison

Truckin...do I think a class "B" should earn more than an "A"?

Depends what you are hauling....who should be paid more, a guy hauling boxes of widgets or someone safely transporting our children to school?
I know the Edison bus drivers have taken it up the you know where at the whims of the past and current administrations.

Swamp Fox

Edison teachers pay the 10% pension pick that the board now pays, which I believe is tax deferred. How many Police officers, firemen and teachers from other districts has that sweetheart deal? Drop your "Union Solidarity". Loyal union members drive past our schools and count the foreign cars in the staff parking lot. You notice they only want to talk about the base salary, not the automatic yearly step increases in salary or supplemental contracts. What is the percentage of these teachers who live and pay taxes in the Edison School District?
Edison teachers must be doing OK, their spokesperson owns four properties in Sandusky according to the auditors website.
What was Mr. Gurney's accomplishments to improve funding when he served on the board?

tiredofthecrap

I would like to know how a school day is allowed to be Interrupted by the teachers to have an emergency meeting? You are getting paid to teach not disrupt a classroom so you can all get together and order your t-shirts and buttons. You have gone too far and the taxpayer is not going to contribute to you anymore.

Get Facts Straight

The school day was never interrupted. You are WRONG!

Lil DAB

This link to see what your teachers incomes are:
http://buckeyeinstitute.org/teac...

Love the "Union Solidarity" comment regarding driving foreign cars! True dat!

arnmcrmn

Im sure Edison has some great teachers....I know one for certain is. A couple points. Every school system has its good and not so good teachers. Edison is not some exception to the rule people. Nobody in the school system is jumping for joy over a pay freeze and no matter what job you are working, not getting a raise is frustrating to say the least. On the other hand, schools are getting less money from the government because they are giving less to the states. Local municipals are more than likely not going to vote yes on additional levy's but people that live in Edison have to remember this...having a school in your town keeps your property value up. If you lose your school, or if any small town loses its school, your town will dry up or have to ship kids elsewhere, which will eventually kill the community. We live in tough times and pay freezes are happening all over in the public sector. Is it fair in some cases, yes because there are towns that are wasting monies, but on the other hand its not fair. No all teachers in this area are making 50,000. In towns this small it usually takes a teacher 20 years of teaching to maybe make that much. Schools are important folks, just remember that.

swiss family

I see that there must be a few teachers posting on here... because of the reaction to my QUESTION about lower grade teachers pay compared top higher level teachers pay.. I have to believe that with all of the educational tv shows, teaching toddlers how to recite the alphabet and count and even count in Spanish, that the job of a 1st , 2nd, and 3rd grade teachers is much easier than it used to be... and is a piece of cake compared to a teacher who is teaching Algebra, or Geometry, or even advanced Biology....so I think that the higher grade teachers have a much more challenging job to do, and deserve more pay, whereas a teacher of the first through 4th grade teachers are not much more than professional baby sitters, and do NOT deserve their over inflated pay...

Dr. Information

until you have either taught or become substitute teacher you really shouldn't pass judgement on how easy it is to teach at the lower levels. You do realize that a kids first few years of schooling sets the bar for how they will perform in life and in school down the road. This holds true for 99% of current younger generation students. Its not "glorified" babysitting at all.

justmyopinion

@Swiss~ Are you kidding me???? Professional babysitters? Have you even seen elementary curriculum recently? I have taught in all grades 1-6 and I can tell you one grade is not easier than any other. Each comes with its own set of challenges. Spend a day in my shoes and then tell me I don't deserve my pay!

Swamp Fox

Edison is like every other district, some teachers are better than others but the Edison staff alone is not resposible for the high test scores. When you examine the social, economical demographics of the Edison School District we should have high scores. If the Edison staff traded places with the Lorain City School staff, after lets say 5 years which district would have higher scores, my guess Edison because of the demographics of the population being served.

Serious

Totally agree--- It's the parents and school system WORKING TOGETHER to build stronger study habits, higher test scores and the EXCELLENT RATING year after year.

Serious

Businesses have been downsizing and even CLOSING PERMANENTLY over the last 5 years (at least), unemployment has been as high as 13% or 14% in Erie and surrounding counties, foreclosure rates have been at an all time high, and OVER 40% of the EDISON school district is on FREE OR REDUCED LUNCHES not to mention those families that are just over the federal poverty level to be eligible, and SEVERAL families are going without any HEALTH INSURANCE OR MEDICAL CARE-- FACT.... It just blows my hair back that ANYONE living and breathing with all this going on around you, could even begin to cry the blues that you WANT/NEED ANYTHING MORE!!!!! In these trying times, can't you just be GRATEFUL that you HAVE A STEADY CAREER, MEDICAL BENEFITS, HOLIDAY PAY, SICK PAY, AND A RETIREMENT THAT YOU ONLY CONTRIBUTE .7% OF THE 10% AND PAY VERY MINIMALLY FOR YOUR HEALTH COVERAGE??????

It's NOT ABOUT THE KIDS, if it were, the school board would be "PROMOTING" what services, courses, equipment etc. they would be able to offer the kids to better prepare them for their futures after high school- THIS IS NOT WHAT IT'S FOR FOLKS--- WE ALL KNOW IT'S FOR WAGES AND BENEFIT PACKAGES and the VOTERS KEEP SAYING NO! Honestly, if you don't like the package you currently have in Milan/Berlin Heights---- YOU ARE FREE TO FIND EMPLOYMENT SOMEWHERE ELSE, you are the only person in control of your happiness! In our household, we're just THANKFUL TO HAVE STEADY INCOME, and for the record- we pay out of our pocket monthly for health insurance and that includes $6k deductible before any services are covered and this is on an income of less then $60k a year..... TWO NO VOTES HERE TOO!!!!

Swamp Fox

The brain trusts who are the BMTA, pull this stunt at a board meeting two weeks before the levy, any chance of a levy being passed and you getting anything out the door, great move.......

Mr Bean

I am unmoved by the claims of excellence. Counting how many students are present each day, teaching to the test levels , and bragging about your comparison rateswith other local schools does not rise to the job description. Education is the promised results, we are not receiving that. I do not believe that the teachers are paying their fair portion of their health insurance or retirement. Citing their "financial problems" or lack of increases, when weighed against the problems of the community is disingenious at the least. The truth is, there is no more money, most of the taxpayers are having to get by with less----it`s time for the "educators" to jump out of the wagon occasionally and push a little, or at least walk alongside when negotiating the realy steep hills. If a student wore a provocative/statement shirt and badge to school, he/she would be punished. I guess arrogant, over the top behavior is acceptable for "educators" but not the "educated". On November 6th we will find out how sympathetic voters are to the so called "problems" of the "educators"

Serious

.

Serious

.

Pages