Salary guide placement/interviews/job offers

Discussion in 'General Education' started by Amy42886, Jul 12, 2021.

  1. Amy42886

    Amy42886 Rookie

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    Jul 12, 2021

    Hi all! I have been teaching for 10 years but recently was non renewed for no cause (principal.and I had some issues because he got upset I emailed my supervisor for a question instead of him..petty) and I chose to resign. I was non tenured and so that was it.

    I have 10 years in my field ( esl) and multiple certifications and my Masters. I am worried about not having a job in September..BTW I'm in NJ. I interviewed at a small district that wanted to hire me on the spot on Thursday but I had more interviews that day and this week (Mon and Tues). I asked for more time...made something up about needing to speak w partner who is away right now on business) but they wanted answer on Mon.

    They want to only put me on step 4 despite the fact that I should be on step 11 this year. They have 18 steps so it would take me another 14 years to get to the top which isn't so high.

    I had an interview today district B (Mon) who said they'll let me know by end of day yet I know district a is waiting for an answer. I also have interview w district C tomorrow for a higher paying district. However I can't be sure since I don't know where B or C will place me on the guide.

    I hate that all my 10 years of hard work will be reduced to step 4. When I asked to negotiate they said it's a morale and fairness factor.. they say teachers who have been in the district for 10 11 years deserve step 10 11 but new to district has to start always at 4, regardless of experience.

    Ugh. I'm thinking of just saying yes to A (mind you there board of Ed meeting for approval isn't until end of August) and seeing if I get a better job offer from B C or more since its only July 12. SChools in NJ don't start until September..AND I would let A know by the end of this week if I had to unaccept. I feel like step 4 is kind of rude. In NJ step salary is always negotiable.

    Would it be wrong to do that?? Help!!!!!!
     
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  3. CaliforniaRPCV

    CaliforniaRPCV Comrade

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    Jul 12, 2021

    Personally, I don't think this is wrong. Outside the teaching profession this is how things are done. If you are in the search for a job, you put out applications, have interviews and build up possible offers. Sometimes you accept a job offer, go to work for two weeks, and a better offer comes through from that queue you built up over your search. And, you take the better job. Just the way it goes. Everybody outside the education system knows that. Employers make FAIR offers so people stay after being hired. The offers coming in after the one you accepted are likely to be in line with the fair offer you accepted, so why switch?

    But this question comes up so often in teacher forums. Is it different in teaching?

    I did not make it to the job part of teaching; dropped the idea after getting the credential. One reason for walking away was the weird nature of hiring and employment practices. So my opinions may not hold much water. But one reason there is a teacher shortage, if there really is one, may be because of the type of nonsense you are going through.
     
  4. Amy42886

    Amy42886 Rookie

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    Jul 12, 2021

    I know...the education field does things so diff than the rest of the business world.

    School District A didn't offer me a fair offer. Step 4 would mean I have only been teaching 4 years when I just finished year 10. I don't understand why districts don't care about acquiring quality teachers to their schools. I get that they want to keep good teachers at their schools but I just dont see how it is a fairness or morale issue. I put in my 10 years...why does it matter what school I did it at?

    I accepted bad offer at school A at 1 pm because everything else seems like a good fit and they wanted an answer. At 3 pm, school B gave me an offer for step 8 which is better than step 4 , but is only a diff in salary by 2 or 3 thousand at most. But the step is more important because it represents that in 8 years I would reach the highest salary versus 14 years to reach highest in school a.

    Now school B wants answer by tomorrow and I have interview w school C tomorrow in morning. I wish it wasn't so complicated!!!
     
  5. waterfall

    waterfall Virtuoso

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    Jul 13, 2021

    NJ has significantly better funding than we do, so this may not be the case at all. However, where I am school funding is abysmal and after the 2008 recession districts struggled for years and years. I would say things were somewhat normalizing around 2017-2018, and then the pandemic hit not that long after :mad:. For many years, steps were frozen. For awhile I was 5 steps behind where I should be; the 2019 contract gave some of them back and now I'm 3 steps behind. Very typical in any district around here. So while I'm entering year 11, I'll be on step 8 of the pay scale. If a new to the district teacher comes in with the same level of experience and they actually place her on step 11, that's really unfair to someone like me who has already give the district many years. Why should a new person make more than me?

    Again, not sure that's the case since NJ is so much better off, but the comments about morale and such made me think of exactly this scenario. It's a common discussion in my district with negotiations. If steps haven't been frozen, it's also possible that they just only offer new to the district teachers a certain step. Around here, the "best" (i.e. wealthiest) districts will only offer a few steps because they know they can get away with it- they'll have tons of applicants either way. I know of one higher SES district that only offers 5 steps to incoming employees no matter what. Around 8 is more common; the most I've ever heard of is 11 which happens in our big city district. They pay more, but it's obviously a more challenging work environment.

    I also think that unfortunately in education, experience is seen as a negative rather than a positive. Principals want newbie teachers who they can "mold" to their own standards, not veterans who are coming in with their own ideas and might not do what the P wants. They also have their budget to worry about, and in some cases one experienced teacher with MA+ other credits is equal to two newbie teachers. I had to leave a horrible school after my 3rd year, when I just had my BA. My phone literally rang off the hook for interviews. Every day at lunch I would check and there would be more. Around year 8-9, when I also had my MA+20, I decided to apply in a few nearby districts because I wanted to move into a different position. Absolute crickets. I looked for 2 years and got 1 interview.
     
  6. Amy42886

    Amy42886 Rookie

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    Jul 13, 2021

    Hi Waterfall,

    Thanks for your input! Yes, I have been frozen once before in NJ because I was in a large urban district that had horrendous funding. I was lucky enough to leave that district during my 8th year of teaching and move to a large suburban district half way through (7.5 years) but step 7 due to 1 frozen year that put me on step 9 for the rest of the year (Jan-June) and then said I would stay on step 9 the following year (9th year of teaching) so they placed me exactly where I should have been. They said noting about morale but instead praised my hard work teaching for 7.5 years and so paid me the same amount that any other teacher at that district with 7.5 years would earn.

    I get the thing about being paid more, unless it is a district that hasn't frozen pay so that everyone has been able to stay on their correct steps for many years. Unfortunately, I do not have that info. The district is so private they won't allow me to even look at the salary guide but expected me to accept the position. When I asked to look at it so I can make a decision by seeing what my salary would be for the next few years, P told me the Business Administrator said no they don't feel comfortable sharing but he just said that they just re-negotiated a new 1 year contract with a 3.16% increase which is the county average. At the end of 2022, they will negotiate for a 3 yr contract. P said they get the increases and decide how to spread it out on the scale? So he said the first 4 years people get a raise of 500. Years 4-8 they get a 900 or 1000 dollar raise, etc with the highest jumps capped at 3,300 for people at the top. So I will reach the top salary in 14 years, (they have 18 steps) given no freezes.

    District B offered me step 8. They said they will offer me step 8 due to all the experience and certifications I bring to the position. They have 16 steps so I would reach the top in about 8 years instead of 14 in District A. Both District A and B salaries are similar, only a diff of a couple thousand dollars, but the step really is important. Why wait 14 years when I can wait 8? Plus who knows if I will stay there forever anyway....

    Also, apparently districts vary in what they consider a MA + 15, 30 , etc. My former district paid me under MA+ 30 because I have my Master's degree and 30 graduate credits. A & B only want to give me MA + 15 because 12 of my credits were earned after my BA and not my MA, but I always thought any credits past a BA counted as "credits".

    District B also will not allow me to see a salary scale, but they say Step 8- MA+15 is 61,610 and Step 16 is 93,568. Makes me wonder how they get 30,000$ in 8 more steps. Maybe I will get lucky with some high increases?

    I accepted School A on Monday and School B on Tuesday, because B seems like more money and money is important as I just bought a home and plan to have a family soon. I will speak to school A on Friday after I am board approved for school B on Thurs night to unaccept. I only accepted verbally..no contract or board approval. I feel really bad but my friends gave me some good advice..don't feel bad because school districts don't give a S about you. You gotta do what is best for yourself and what district honors your hard work, experience and certs/degrees.

    I have a hard time with confrontation and assertiveness so I am dreading unaccepting. I have no intention of ever working at that district in the future so it doesn't matter..but I can't help but feel bad.

    You are right- experience is seen as a negative. However, even with 10 years of experience and an MA+ 15/30, I have received 7 interview calls this week. But I think they don't care because they know they will just offer me a low step anyway, regardless. That's a shame that it took so long for you to get an interview vs. a ton with just a BA. It's ridiculous.

    I had a spotless record for 10 years, excellent evaluations at my old school, amazing rapport with my students and families, created programs for the school but because I was non-tenured and had a precarious relationship with my P, I was let go. Bottom line- they don't care, you can be replaced in a day, so go out and search for the highest salary you can find and don't feel bad about it!!! :(
     
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  7. Missy

    Missy Aficionado

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    Jul 15, 2021

    Around me, districts have contracts which dictate placement on the salary scale for incoming employees.
    I am more concerned about the fact you did not have tenure after ten years. Wherever you end up, I would check on the way tenure is decided, and make sure to get there.
     
  8. Amy42886

    Amy42886 Rookie

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    Oh no, I did have tenure in my prior district. I worked in my first district for 7.5 years and had tenure, so when they were consolidating with budget cuts they had to find a position for me. But in my most recent district, I had only been there 2.5 years so I was 1.5 year away from tenure, as it takes 4 years and 1 day here in NJ since the awful Gov Christie was around.

    Yeah I guess I never realized before that many districts have rules about new hire placements since when I switched the first time, I was immediately put on appropriate step. Oh well.
     
  9. Missy

    Missy Aficionado

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    Jul 16, 2021

    I am glad to hear you had tenure in a previous district.

    Around here, the “appropriate step” is what the contract dictates, and in my district, at least, a new hire is clearly told what that step will be with the employment offer.
     
  10. Amy42886

    Amy42886 Rookie

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    Jul 16, 2021

    It's weird because when the Superintendent offered me the job, she said that she was going to do step 7 but that since I come with a lot of experience, they will give me 8. so it makes me wonder if it is is up to their discretion. I am just glad I have a job at this point! :)
     
  11. Caballo21

    Caballo21 Rookie

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    Jul 16, 2021

    I was hired at step 7 too this year, with 10+ years in private schools and two years teaching abroad. They could have put me at step 0 and it would have still been more than 5K over I was making before. Lucky seven:) I hope this new job is a great fit for you - and congrats!
     

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