Teacher union leaders are outraged that the Watertown, Mass. school committee has rejected a negotiated contract that would give them a longevity increase. A longevity increase!?! That’s extra payment for just “Being There.” If you just show up, you get more dollars in your pocket.
Never has a pay increase been so aptly titled. The longevity increase goes to those teachers who have reached the highest step on the salary scale but want more money nonetheless. They are the best-paid teachers in the system and, often, the most powerful members of the teachers union. Since the longevity increase goes only to a few teachers, the cost to the district is not as great as an across-the-board increase. No wonder negotiators give in to the union on this one.
All of this would be just fine, if the most experienced teachers were the best teachers. But as I discuss in a previous post, teacher effectiveness actually tails off in the latter years of teaching.
(photo credit: Artis Rams)