Tell the Legislature to Support Educators and Troopers

Late last Friday, the Senate proposed a 7.5 percent pay raise for state troopers. The lawmakers noted that there’s a trooper shortage, and the best way to attract more people to the job is to provide a competitive salary.  
We couldn’t agree more.  The best way to attract professionals is to provide a competitive salary.  
That’s why it should be easy to provide at least 7.5% to attract and keep public educators as a way to help with the shortages seen statewide. 
The legislature is being held in contempt of court.  The fines have been adding up because of their failure to meet their constitutional obligation to amply fund public education.
We applaud the willingness to act to make troopers' salaries more competitive, but we are left to wonder we face continued delays on educator pay.
The majority of State Troopers happen to be male.
The majority of public school educators happen to be female.
Check out these stats:  
  • Between 2003 and 2014, teachers saw their average base salaries decline by 7.5 percent (in constant dollars.)  
  • In 2010-11, the average teacher salary in Washington State was 88% of what comparable occupations offered.
  • In 2015, the legislature gave the State Patrol a 10% raise (over two years), plus $131 a month increase in health care contributions.  We got a 3% COLA, a one-time temporary 1.8% raise, and $12 a month toward insurance.  
This is about paying competitive wages to public servants regardless of their gender. There’s nothing more basic than pay. It’s true for our trooper colleagues and it’s true and constitutionally mandated for public educators.
Contact your senator and let him/her know that it’s time to stop shortchanging the public educators that happen to be mostly women teaching and working with our kids. Meet your paramount duty: pay comparable wages for public educators.