This post is dedicated to my childhood friend, Bernabe Perez. He doesn’t fully understand my gripe with Miami-Dade County Public Schools treatment toward teachers and most importantly toward the students. This post might clear up some misunderstandings.
Today The Miami Herald wrote about a tentative agreement between the school board and the United Teachers of Dade. This new contract wants teachers to accept crumbs.
Everyone knows that teachers teach because they love teaching. No teacher ever thought they would get rich from teaching. That’s ok.
However, there is a difference between not getting rich and living in poverty while the administration and downtown paper pushers not only get the big paychecks but also the kudos for the teachers’ work.
When I became a teacher, I was told my salary would be decided on a step schedule based on the number of years in the system. According to the picture in this post, I should be on step 16( $50,300) but my paycheck reflects that I am on step 11 ($42,148). This is a huge gap.
The schedule was placed as part of the contract between UTD and the Miami-Dade County Public School Board. Yet, this contract has not been honored in five years. Now I am being told that I might go up ONE step. Did you see the picture? That’s not even a whole $300. I’m not asking for millions. I am not asking for more than what the original contract said. No more, no less.
The big slap in the face was when I read that a first year beginning teacher will start at $40,000 that’s less than $2,148 from my 16 years of experience salary.
How can Superintendent Alberto Carvalho and the school board say they care about teachers? How can they say they care about quality education for the students?
Let’s make this clear. If a teacher violates any part of the contract, the teacher can be put on probation or fired. The teacher can’t come up with any excuses for his/her bad behavior. However, the school board gets away with not owning up to their part of the contract.
The school board and NOW our union cry a poor mouth and blame Tallahassee for not giving them enough money to pay for these steps.
That is a bold face lie!
If MDCPS doesn’t have money for salary steps, why bother promoting teachers to administrative positions when that will cost them more money?
Why not close down the under enrolled schools, place those teachers and administrators in other schools which would lower the teacher student ratio and cut down on costs?
Why not use common sense?
There is a reason why they won’t implement these strategies. It’s because the back scratching that goes on behind the scenes is unbelievable.
For example, there is talk that an administrator at Dr. Rolando Espinosa k-8 Center in Doral, Florida will be getting promoted to a downtown position this December. Whether this is gossip or not remains to be seen this school year. The administrator with the alleged promotion is notorious for disrespecting the teachers by treating them as if they are slaves on a plantation. The big guys downtown know what this administrator does but they look the other way because she has a relative in politics. Isn’t that nice?
Another interesting fact for you, according to the ADA if there are special needs students in an inclusion class there must be an ESE teacher with the other teacher. This isn’t happening in numerous schools all over Miami. I don’t think the parents are aware. Who pays the price? The students.
Meanwhile, the school board is saving money by not having those teachers in the classroom as required by law. Sometimes, the school board skirts around the situation by having the ESE teacher there for short periods of time as to make an appearance. But is this beneficial to the student who needs them? I don’t think so.
Is Superintendent Alberto Carvalho waiting for parents to find out and file a class action lawsuit? That would be much more costly than to have placed the ESE teacher.
So you see, the school board can be slick when it wants to be if it benefits them.
Put in laymen’s terms. If you make a contract with anyone, both sides are required to hold up their end of the contract. If the contract is not held up by one of the two parties, there are consequences.
With that said, Miami Dade County Public School Board has not kept their part of the contract. Where are their consequences?
I’d like to hear your educated comments and suggestions.
Teachers, you will be asked to vote for this pitiful contract. Vote no. Stand up for yourself. It’s your career. Be proud. Don’t let them throw crumbs at you.
Tell UTD that one step in the middle of the year is an insult. Make them go back to the bargaining table. Tell them you want what the contract says or you will only work to the contract. Be strong!
They will tell you that if you want the contract then they will have to fire teachers. Go ahead. See if they fire teachers. Call their bluff. Stop living in fear. Be strong!
Here is the link so you can see the salary schedule for yourself. http://salary.dadeschools.net/Schd_Teachers/