Stop the attack on educator pay

Email Sen. Andy Hill and Sen. Rodney Tom and tell them to stop pushing legislation that limits our ability to negotiate salaries at the local level.

Their proposal, which is one section of Senate Bill 5946, is an assault on collective bargaining, local decision making and educator compensation. Hill and Tom want to limit educator salaries, even though they voted for a state budget that continues the COLA suspension for six years straight! And two years ago, the Senate passed a budget that actually cut teacher salaries by 1.9 percent! 

Teachers will be 16 percent behind inflation because of the state's failure to adequately fund salaries, yet Hill and Tom want to limit the ability to increase salaries through local collective bargaining. Until the state raises educator salaries, local bargaining is the ONLY way to get a salary increase. Hill and Tom also want to:

* Eliminate existing health-care coverage for part-time school employees.

* Allow administrators to transfer and fire teachers regardless of job performance.

Instead of attacking educator pay, health care and job security, the Legislature should fund smaller class sizes and the educator COLA. It's also important for the Legislature to allow community and technical college faculty members to bargain for locally funded step increases.