Starting on Step 1 of the Payscale

Discussion in 'Job Seekers' started by teachersk, Aug 2, 2012.

  1. teachersk

    teachersk Connoisseur

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    I just got a job with a great district. Everyone sings praises about this district! I am really excited. I was told that there were over 200 applicants for my position.

    While I am grateful, I was a little bummed to find out that I will be starting on step 1 of the pay scale. They said that "this is how everyone starts out" in their district.

    How is this possible? What if someone has been teaching for thirty years? Do they start THEM at step 1? That is crazy!

    I will be making less this year than I did my first year teaching. Now, I have five years of experience, great references, and my M.Ed.!

    I was just curious ... is the only reason they can do this because it's SO hard to find jobs right now? They know that if I "turned them down" they could go to the other 199 applicants for my job?

    I am sooo grateful to have the position and am obviously not going anywhere, but taking such a huge pay cut is such a bummer!!!
     
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  3. JaimeMarie

    JaimeMarie Moderator

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    That stinks. I was started on the step I should be started on. Did you look at the teacher contract that the union and school board agreed on?
     
  4. Caesar753

    Caesar753 Multitudinous

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    It's common practice in many places. I think that it's been done that way for a long time, even before these budget issues. It's a way for districts to save money, potentially tens or hundreds of thousands of dollars over the course of a single teacher's career.

    If it's in the contract, then it is what it is and there's nothing you can do about it. I wish there were a better answer, but there's not.

    I've been tossing around the idea of making a move to another state (not for many years yet) to be closer to family, but for me it would result in a paycut of over $20k compared to where I am now, and I don't even make that much as it is! :eek: I'm looking at it as part of the trade-off of moving to a new place with a different student demographic, smaller classes, and some improvements in my personal life and my family's standard of living. I'm still trying to decide if those things are worth $20k. Jury's still out.
     
  5. Jerseygirlteach

    Jerseygirlteach Groupie

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    Unfortunately, this is very common in my area. And yes, they probably do start someone with 30 years experience at step 1. Why? Because, as you already figured out, budgets are tight and they can easily find someone willing to take the job at step 1.

    Try to focus on the fact that you will be working for a well-regarded district. I'm sure you'll have a great year.
     
  6. HistTchr

    HistTchr Habitué

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    In my district, a person is given credit for their prior years of teaching experience, but that doesn't necessarily mean he/she will be placed on the same step as people who have worked in the district that entire time with the same number of years. (For example, someone who has taught in the district for 10 years may be on Step 10, while a new hire with 10 years experience in another district may be on Step 8.) I guess it all depends on how the contract is worded.
     
  7. chebrutta

    chebrutta Enthusiast

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    My district - starting this year - is starting new hires out 5 steps below their actual experience.

    The sad thing is - if I leave for one year and come back, I'd be making more than I am now, even with 5 years less, because we've been frozen on the payscale for so many years.
     
  8. waterfall

    waterfall Maven

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    My previous district started everyone at "base pay" regardless of experience because they were pay for performance. So a brand new teacher and a 20 year veteran would both start out at 35k. My P mentioned a few times that they were taking advantage of the economy by getting experienced teachers cheaply for easy-to-fill positions like elementary ed.

    I was actually kind of shocked when I started on the correct payscale step for my new district- I just assumed I'd be on step 1.
     
  9. mopar

    mopar Multitudinous

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    It definitely is easier for administration to do this these days. If teachers aren't willing to start at step 1, they have many others who are.
     
  10. czacza

    czacza Multitudinous

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    Was your experience in public school?
     
  11. JustMe

    JustMe Virtuoso

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    That makes me furious! :mad:

    We start at the "correct" step. I think anything else in public school is absurd.
     
  12. smalltowngal

    smalltowngal Multitudinous

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    I've never heard of this. All of the districts I have been hired in have started me out with my experience. I have heard of some districts knocking off a couple of a years salary for some teachers.
     
  13. teach42

    teach42 Comrade

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    It does suck that they are allowed to do that. However, I know of a teacher who managed to skip a lot of steps because the school really wanted her. She was able to negotiate for a much higher pay even though she didn't have many years of experience. I didn't know that was even possible and I believe this was a public school.
     
  14. czacza

    czacza Multitudinous

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    Are you getting the step 1 Masters pay? You didn't say yet, but where was your 5 years experience?
     
  15. TeacherNY

    TeacherNY Phenom

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    This happened to me as well. I just started at a new school and am getting the base pay for having a Masters. I would be making 5k less if I only had a BA.
     
  16. Rainbowbird

    Rainbowbird Groupie

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    :yeahthat:

    It all depends on the contract.

    Really stinks when somebody loses all that. Just another way of keeping the middle class down. Have to pay all that corporate welfare and keep Wall Street happy, you know! It all trickles down to this.
     
  17. dgpiaffeteach

    dgpiaffeteach Aficionado

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    I'm starting back at step 0 even though I have one year of experience. It's at a private school so they don't count it. I'm still making almost $10,000 more so I'm not complaining too much!
     
  18. leighbball

    leighbball Virtuoso

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    In my district, it depends who the Super is. When I was hired, I was granted a step for my full year maternity leave. When a former friend of mine was hired at my school (different S) she was started at Masters step 0 even though she had several years of teaching. They told her that they wanted her but they could go for someone cheaper, so she didn't try to negotiate. Our new part-time BSI teacher had 15 years and they started her on step 1 too.
     
  19. cheeryteacher

    cheeryteacher Enthusiast

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    In my state they can't start you lower. Unfortunately this results in experienced teachers pricing themselves out of a job. It is common to hear that a principal can't hire a teacher with more than X amount of years. Usually the magic amount of years is 5 without a masters degree. They might make some consessions for a hard to find assignment or if the teacher worked in the district previously (I have known teachers to leave to be principals, not like it and come back to teach).
     
  20. giraffe326

    giraffe326 Virtuoso

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    I applied for many positions this year that stated that you would start at step 0.

    However, I make so little, it is STILL more than I make here in NC :eek:
     
  21. teachersk

    teachersk Connoisseur

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    That's funny, I actually didn't get a copy of the contract. Duh! I need to ask for one. I almost asked during the HR interview, but didn't want to go off topic and was going to ask at the end.

    My five years were all in public school. One year was in a university-based private placement but was considered a public program "on paper."

    It's almost like I don't care about the money but the principle? :confused:

    I'm bummed that I'm equal to a "first year teacher," (nothing against first year teachers, but it makes me feel like my five years of very hard work are completely wasted???)

    So, I know there's nothing I can do - but I think it's crazy that this is the case!
     
  22. teachersk

    teachersk Connoisseur

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    And yes, I am "step 1 + masters." And after this year, I'll be "Step 1 + masters + 15." But still ! blech.
     
  23. ChemTeachBHS

    ChemTeachBHS Comrade

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    When I started I was given credit for my 1 year of public school experience. I was not given credit for my 2 years in catholic school. I was also given credit for my MA. Now they are started everyone at step 1. In fact 2 years ago things were so bad they didn't hire anyone with a contract, they hired everyone as full times subs and people still took the jobs.
     
  24. BioAngel

    BioAngel Science Teacher - Grades 3-6

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    It's definitely not fair-- but I think anybody would be thankful to have a teaching position the way things are. I'm sure you are and hopefully things will improve over the few years so that you can get better raises.
     
  25. teachersk

    teachersk Connoisseur

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    Yeah, I don't want anyone to think I'm not grateful for the position. I certainly am!

    It's just the "feeling" that I had coming out of the meeting.

    :)
     
  26. Rainbowbird

    Rainbowbird Groupie

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    I think anyone who gets a job should feel lucky. I don't think you need to feel grateful. You earned it. Everyone who is highly qualified should be able to have a decent shot at landing a job. It is a shame that due to budget cuts and irresponsible decisions made in the financial sector, schools and therefore children are suffering from larger class sizes and program cuts.
     
  27. TeacherNY

    TeacherNY Phenom

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    I do not complain about my salary although my hubby thinks I should be making 10k more with my experience. I can't express how thankful I am for this new job I have. We do get a raise every year at contract time AND on our anniversary (mine is in about 6 months so I can't to see what my new salary will be:).
     

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