What Is the Difference Between a Pay Raise and a Salary Increase?By George N. Laase @ 8:00 AM May 07, 2012
Re “Do a Few Things for Us – If November Goes the Right Way”
I have no doubt that every County salary comparison between Culver City and schools elsewhere was accurate in last Friday’s report by Teachers Union President David Mielke.
Mr. Mielke also is correct when he says that teachers have not received a raise in five years. What he left out was that during these last five years, about half of the CCUSD teachers – who are still in the district Step-and-Column program continued to receive their annual salary increases.
The Teachers Union differentiates between members receiving pay raises and salary increases. A raise, it seems, only is negotiated by the union and affects all of its members. A salary increase given to individual teachers in the Step-and-Column program for longevity or educational advancement is defined by the union not as a pay raise, only as a salary increase. Even though Step-and-Column also is a negotiated item, in both cases – pay raise or salary increase – the School District teacher/union member ends up being paid more by the District.
Confused? You Are Not Alone
Yes, the union is walking a very fine line here with its terminology. Parents who read that their child’s teacher has not received a raise in five years may become incensed. They may be more sympathetic to the union’s cause. But then isn't that the desired effect, playing on the reader’s hoped-for lack of distinction between the two similar terms?
Next time you see Mr. Mielke, ask him if it is true that during the past four years of state budget cuts and deferrals, almost half the teachers in the CCUSD still received their 3 percent to 4.1 percent annual Step-and-Column salary increases. Even in the last two years when their union agreed to accept four furlough days (2.2 percent less) in 2009-10 and five furlough days (2.7 percent less) in 2010-11 to help offset the District’s deficit spending, these teachers still got paid more than the previous school year, for working fewer days.
Mr. Laase may be contacted at GMLaase@aol.com