Wednesday, July 8, 2009

Thanks for Muddying the Water

The News Journal seems to be intent on stiring up anti-teacher and anti-state worker sentiment with the general public. In today's paper the Ron Williams column has probably totally confused the public as well as DSEA members.

Mr Williams refers to the "ever-perplexing question of 'do they get paid or not'". Mr. Williams is more perplexed than anyone actually having to deal with the situation.

Five furlough days are the equivalent of 2.5% of pay. Furlough days are days that you do not have to show up for work, but are unpaid. Instead of taking the pay for the five days when the days actually occur, the money for the days (2.5%) is deducted throughout the 26 pay periods of the year.

In the case of teachers, the five furlough days will be taken on days when professional development was scheduled, effectively leaving only one professional development day. On those five days, teachers will be home when normally they would have been at work in their districts receiving professional development training.

Next year, the pay schedules return to the 2009 level. In the case of a regular pay cut, the schedule would be permanently altered to reflect 2.5% less.

However, Mr. Williams wants to package this issue, teachers, school employees, and other state workers are being hurt. These employees will make 2.5% less in 2010. The only consolations are that they will receive time off for the money taken, and the pay schedule is restored in 2010 (so that at least discussions around employee pay does not start 2.5% in the hole).

Although every citizen in Delaware benefits from and partakes of state services, the people who deliver those services are being asked to take on more burden for balancing the budget than other citizens.

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