Wild economy questions - I know - but what if?

Discussion in 'Teacher Time Out' started by McKennaL, Feb 13, 2010.

  1. McKennaL

    McKennaL Groupie

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    If your distrcit came to you and asked you to take a paycut...would you?

    If they asked you to work for 1/2 pay for one year... would you?

    (Would your union allow it? Would you, if the union said you are on your own-but they don't advise it?)

    Would a school (your school)...considering the TERRIBLE shape of the economy, HIRE a teacher who would pledge to work for half pay for one year?

    If that were YOU (the new teacher)..and you COULD make it the one year...would you do that for a job?

    If half-price teachers started to be hired...would that change your answers to the above questions?

    Wondering how everyone feels about how tough it's getting out there.
     
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  3. TeacherGrl7

    TeacherGrl7 Devotee

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    For a permanent teaching position with some health benefits and tenure, I'd work for half pay, yes definitely. Half pay of a starting salary around here would be not much less than I am getting paid now with NO shot at tenure, no benefits, no sick or personal days, and no security beyond June. I would take the position and do back flips the whole way home.
     
  4. PCdiva

    PCdiva Connoisseur

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    Half pay of a permanent teacher 1st year is still more than being a sub or leave replacement...around here anyway....Most subs are working for a quarter of what a teacher makes with no benefits.

    Could this half pay scenerio ever happen? Im thinking no way...
     
  5. newbie87

    newbie87 Comrade

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    Honestly, it depends. As someone doing student teaching right now, I'd take the offer if it half year pay for one year only with benefits I'd do it. However, if this was the starting wage and stayed that price they next year I'd say no. Part of the reason I'd say yes is I live with my mom. So, I don't have to worry about covering more than half of the bills. If i lived alone, I wouldn't take it.
     
  6. giraffe326

    giraffe326 Virtuoso

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    Well, in NC teachers start at $30,430. I am a third year teach with a pay freeze. I barely make more than that. I already have to have a PT job to make ends meet. So, if they asked me to work for $15K a year, I'd walk. I am single with a mortgage. There is NO WAY I could make it. After taxes, $15K wouldn't even cover my house payments, much less anything else.
     
  7. FarFromHome

    FarFromHome Connoisseur

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    I also only make about $30,000. I couldn't make it on half pay. I would have to find another job.

    My district is talking about a pay freeze for three years, as well as a pay cut. (And I was supposed to move over 5 steps on the education scale next year!) But I might not be here next year anyway because of the military.
     
  8. swansong1

    swansong1 Virtuoso

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    I would walk if asked to work for half pay. My retirement benefits would add up to more than that, so I would give my job up to a new teacher.
     
  9. Emma35

    Emma35 Connoisseur

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    I wouldn't, not for half pay. We have been taking pay freezes for a while now. 1/2 pay wouldn't fly with our union. I think a district expecting teacher to work for 1/2 pay really hurts the kids too. I have so much out of pocket expenses for my classroom as it is. If I took a 1/2 pay cut all that would stop. Parents would notice. I do think parents would side with us teachers. In our district the parents know we give 110% and wouldn't want that to change.
     
  10. JustMe

    JustMe Virtuoso

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    So long as my husband's position remained solid, we could survive on half my salary, but that doesn't mean I would. What an insult to the profession and what a horrible precedence to set.
     
  11. Jem

    Jem Aficionado

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    There comes a point when you have to ask yourself how much you, as a professional, are worth. I completely understand cut backs to help out a district. But with the time, effort, energy, continual learning, etc-we should be compensated. If I was offered half pay, I would look for a new line of work where I was respected a bit more than that.
     
  12. kimrandy1

    kimrandy1 Enthusiast

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    I carry all of our family's health care benefits...my dh's company only offers them for employees, not families, so we couldn't pick them up from there. And our insurance is dirt cheap (I have $45 deducted from each pay that covers health, dental, vision and life insurance, all together, including drug coverage). I'd have to greatly weigh it to see if I could buy the same level of coverage elsewhere for the same amount that I'd be losing in half pay (or for less).

    And then there is always, a bird in the hand...if I bring home $1600 a pay, half pay would be $800 (and out of that, I'd have to buy insurance). I guess I'd be looking around to see what other jobs I could get where I'd make $800 every two weeks with full health benefits. I don't think there is anything around like that...so I'd probably stick with it.

    Before that happens here, though, I think we'd have a 4 day school week (and get comparable salary reduction). I think that was actually discussed as an option recently.
     
  13. Rabbitt

    Rabbitt Connoisseur

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    If you work for the district outside the union, you will never be allowed back in!

    There is no way I would stoop as low as half pay UNLESS EVERY position supported by taxpayers did the same...police, firemen, mail, construction, snow removal, EVERYONE!
     
  14. TeacherGrl7

    TeacherGrl7 Devotee

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    Just a question for those of you saying you would not do this. If you walked on this offer, what WOULD you do? What job would you get? How would you make a living?
     
  15. SpecialPreskoo

    SpecialPreskoo Moderator

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    I couldn't do it. We barely squeak by as it is. Take a big chunk out would be devesting.
     
  16. kimrandy1

    kimrandy1 Enthusiast

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    And, yes, it does depend on the union's stance. I wouldn't allow them to dictate what I should do, but I'd also do whatever I did with their opinion in mind.

    But, seriously, like someone else asked...what would we do? I don't think I could find another job that pays me even the $38,000 that would be my half-salary, because I have no other training....and I also think my district would not make this sort of decision unless all area districts did something similar.
     
  17. giraffe326

    giraffe326 Virtuoso

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    In my case, I made $25K with benefits working in a grocery store in a non-management position. So, I would never work as a teacher for $16K (which would be half of my salary). I COULDN'T. I already have to work a PT job to make ends meet. I have no husband or boyfriend to help with bills. After taxes, my $16K salary would not even cover my mortgage.
    I, personally, would have several options. I could try something completely new, I could go back to the grocery store and they would accept me into a store co-manager training program (I opted against this before because it didn't work with my school and subbing schedule and I knew my job was temporary for me), I could go back to the car dealership I was a receptionist at and sell cars, etc...
    I guess I am fortunate because I always worked 2 jobs, so I have options to go back to and contacts outside of education. I worked for Kroger for 9 years before moving out of state to teach. I worked at the dealership for almost 2 years until my position was eliminated (all PT employees were let go). I could go back in a different position as a FT employee- they would gladly take me back. I now work PT for Michaels (the craft store), but I hate it and would never consider working FT there.

    Honestly, you make well over $16K waiting tables. Someone would be crazy to teach for that. If I made $50K or more, I could make it work (by picking up more hours outside of work). But, half of $32K is not a live-able salary.
     
  18. JustMe

    JustMe Virtuoso

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    I would attempt to work where I was employed previously as an instructional assistant in order to continue earning service credit for retirement. There is a high rate of turnover so it's very likely I could work there once again.
     
  19. Securis

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    It's downright scary. Budget cuts are in the news and there is little anyone here can do except wait to find out what they (the legislature) have done.
     
  20. czacza

    czacza Multitudinous

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    :2cents:
     
  21. Peachyness

    Peachyness Virtuoso

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    I make somewhere around this right now. I get no benefits either. But, it's a job. It's a foot into the door. This is my fifth year teaching, and it's getting harder and harder to find a teaching job.

    So, I would take any job offered to me because, well, I need to pay the bills. It's sad, but I like teaching, and I am willing to do what I need to do to get a full time job in the future.
     
  22. dizzykates

    dizzykates Habitué

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    I'd walk. There is no way I would put in the time I do right now for half what I am currently making. I've told my husband time and again that I could be a nanny, jewelry consultant, receptionist or grocery bagger and make enough money for us to cover what my salary takes care of before the fun stuff. At least in those jobs I would get to go home and be done with work. It might take some time, but I would figure out a new path and eventually I have no doubt I would make what I am making now because the bar isn't being set too high!
     
  23. kimrandy1

    kimrandy1 Enthusiast

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    I wouldn't want to encourage anyone to take half pay, and I sincerely hope it never gets to that. Like I said, I feel that we'd go to a 4 day work with, with pay cuts of 20%, first...and I feel that is a huge stretch. I'm actually pretty lucky to live in an area where there is a population boom, and there is a lot of government (state and federal) employment, so the recession has not hit us nearly as hard as in other places.

    However, I think it's a little naive of some of you to think that you could just go and pick up other jobs - even waitressing and grocery store employment. Now, some of you have personal connections to places you've already worked, or family who could help land a job, and that's different. For the rest of us, though...jobs are scarce. A good friend's daughter graduated from NYU in the Spring and is home again, unemployed, with a very flexible college degree. She's been willing to take anything - and couldn't even find a job at the mall during the holdiays. Unemployment is major in our country right now. My nephew is an electrician and is in month 9 of layoff right now. My media specialist's husband was just let go from the retail store he managed for 12 years....the chain closed half the stores, and therefore, had to lay off half of the management. And he's been looking for something, ANYTHING, else in retail, even stocking shelves, ever since. That was last May.

    It's tough out there. I'm thankful for my job, as it is! Now, would I work for half-pay? I probably would, like I said, for the benefits. Would I be happy? Heck, no, but I see little other choice.
     
  24. cutNglue

    cutNglue Magnifico

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    I MIGHT, work as a TA for half THEIR pay but I would not work as a teacher for half the pay I do now. It's simply too much work and too much responsibility to expect otherwise. For my husband, it would be about the money to help our family. For me it would be about the level of responsibility and paying me for my time. As it is, it is low. Half of it would be ridiculous. I went to school too long and the hours, time and effort put into the job are long and stressful. I love it, but not for free. If they wanted to do that, they would have to provide a lot more support so I can reduce my stress level and hours. I know we don't completely do it for the money. I certainly don't but there is a breaking point on that.
     
  25. giraffe326

    giraffe326 Virtuoso

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    I think location is a large part due to varying answers. Plus years of experience.
    A lot of the southern states (which have no union), make very little. NC salaries range from $30,430 to $57,810 (that is WITH a Masters). Very few people could live on half pay.
    States where the salaries range from $40,000 to near $100,000 would be better apt to cope with that.
    Cost of living is a variable, too. However, where I live, a 1 bedroom apartment is $800 a month or more. I would be willing to bet that is more than most places (obviously not New York City, Washington DC, San Francisco, etc...) But when I lived in MI, my rent was $350 and that included heat!
    There are parts of NC where rent is not quite that high. However, even where I teach (super rural area), the cheapest live-able home would be a 40 year old trailer for around $500 a month. You could get one for cheaper if you didn't care about having windows or other 'luxuries'. Even at $500 a month, a first year teacher would make $15,000 before taxes (at half-salary), maybe $11,000 or $12,000 after taxes. Paying $500 a month would be $6,000 for rent alone. That would leave less than $6,000 for all other expenses (utilities, food, etc...). That is $500 a month. That is just not possible.

    Luckily, this would never happen. I honestly think I would walk away even if I made more money and could make it on half my salary because of the insult. I already put in so much of my own money and so many hours outside of school, I would never do that for the amount of money I could make flipping burgers at McDonalds.

    I made more than $16,000 in 2000- when I was a Junior/Senior in high school and was 16/17 years old. I would never work for that as someone who completed 5 years of college.

    Jobs are scarce. I moved 700 miles away to utilize my college degree. I am from Flint, Michigan. There is no place worse off than Detroit and Flint. The majority of Flint was employed by GM at one time.
    When I worked at Kroger, I interviewed someone with an MBA for a cashiering job paying minimum wage.
    I have a very strong retail resume that would give me a slight advantage.
    After my position was eliminated at my car dealership, I applied for 6 jobs the same day, all on-line. I was contacted by 5 of those employers. I interviewed at 3 before I was offered a job and canceled the other 2 interviews. Of those 3 interviews, I was offered 2 jobs. The job I was not offered was because I refused to work December 23rd and 24th (my family is 700 miles away). They told me I could not have those days off, and I told them that no job is worth missing Christmas with my family.

    If someone were willing to teach for $15,000, I would seriously question their sanity. The only way I would consider that is if I had a wealthy husband capable of fully supporting the family financially. One person I worked at Kroger with owns a multi-million dollar company with her husband. She works PT at Kroger for health insurance only. I understand that.
     
  26. Peachyness

    Peachyness Virtuoso

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    Well, I make around that and I think I'm pretty sane. It was all that they had. Yes, I could have declined the job offer and subbed, but I do not like to sub. I subbed in the past and subbed for a couple of days back in October and I can't stand it.

    So, I took the only teaching-type job here in the whole county.

    Plus, it got my foot back into the door. When things settle down, in the future, I'll be able to apply for in-house positions.

    Oh, and my hubby is a sub too. Together, we make enough to pay two mortgages and bills. :)
     
  27. Peachyness

    Peachyness Virtuoso

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    THank you for bringing this up. Yes, this is so true. When I was unemployed and on UI, I looked for ANY job. It was so difficulut to even find a place looking for someone to hire, then you had to worry about getting an interview. It's really hard to get a job out there, so obviously I'm going to take the first one that I am offered, even if the pay is horribly low.

    This is not the time to say, well, I'm worth more than that because I have a degree. No, that doesn't matter anymore because we're all in the same boat, degree or no degree. We all need a job just to survive. Pickers can't be choosers.
     
  28. TeacherGrl7

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    I taught for about that much my first year, with no husband- wealthy or not :lol:. Here in New York, ANY elementary ed. position was a blessing, no matter what the salary. I'm slightly bias, but I think I'm pretty sane. Sane enough to know that a job is a job and my bills don't care if I'm not getting paid what I'm worth, as long as I'm writing the checks!
     
  29. TeacherGrl7

    TeacherGrl7 Devotee

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    That's exactly why I asked what people would do. I have family members that are trying to get jobs right now in New York and there is just NOTHING. I had a cousin who managed to snag a part time job at Bath and Body Works over the holidays and was ecstatic to finally get something. She worked a total of about 100 hours before the season ended and she was let go. Maybe it's different in other parts of the country, but where I am right now there just aren't options- and your degree and connections mean nothing, because people just don't have the jobs to give.
     
  30. Aliceacc

    Aliceacc Multitudinous

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    I will do whatever I have to, work whatever job for whatever hours in whatever capacity I need to, in order to ensure that my kids have a roof over their heads, food on the table, and decent medical care.

    And I'll do whatever I can for family and friends whose luck hasn't been as good as mine.

    Last year family and friends helped my family pull through when our world crashed down. I will never ever assume that someone's bad luck is their own fault; I was under a black cloud for a solid year and a half, and there's nothing we could have done to anticipate or prevent it. The fact that it was prompted by medical issues and not economic has absolutely nothing to do wth it. Now that black cloud is over the homes of other people, and for them it's economic issues. It doesn't matter. It simply means it's my turn to help them, and others, as they helped us.

    I realize that we all have different beliefs concerning an afterlife and a God. . I firmly believe that, when it comes to our last minutes, as we evaluate our lives, we won't be looking at those times when things were good and easy. I think we'll be looking at the times when things were rough, and thinking of how easy it would have been to do just a little more for someone else and ease their burden.
     
  31. JustMe

    JustMe Virtuoso

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    What you feel makes complete sense given the state of the economy. But I cannot tell you how often I see businesses advertising positions available, and then there's this: I have a friend, who I admit is "lost" and going through some hard times so the decisions he is making are pretty horrible, but in the past year he's been given three great factory jobs in this county. Now, the first he was laid off from after only a couple of months because of cuts, but he was called back quickly but with little notice ("Hey, we're opening up your line again, so we'll need you in tomorrow), so he just said "forget that." Stupid. He got another job at an even better factory and just stopped going in after a few weeks because it was boring. The in-between time is taken care of by farming and gambling. He got yet another job, and while the pay is lower he's working first shift, which is amazing, and he's still working there, but he's made it clear this is short term for him. Again, his choices are ridiculous, but he's able to get job after job...and given his history, I just don't know how this is possible. He has a friend, who I'm not friends with, who follows the same pattern. Basically if there is a game on he wants to watch and he can't call in to work because he's in his probationary period, he just quits. And then he's magically rehired elsewhere in no time! My husband and I've discussed this because it blows us away. If there are so many people out of work, why are these two guys getting jobs--jobs that are, around here, coveted?

    Knowing this situation and then just seeing the long employment section of the newspaper, this is all very confusing to me (added: confusing because our unemployment rate is right up there with the average). *I just checked, and in my home district right now, there are seven classified positions available...and the district is small.
     
  32. scmom

    scmom Enthusiast

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    JustMe, I think you have to be careful about assuming the experiences you describe are typical. Our district is on a hiring freeze. The ads in the paper are about 20% of what they used to be, companies are still failing, good people with good work ethic can't get jobs in my area. Sure, there are always a few dead beats, but not the majority. Please be sensitive to the experiences of others. My oldest son's company went from 40+ to 3, my middle son goes for jobs and says there are 100-300 people applying, all employees in our district are being asked to take furlough days and wage cuts. Some areas are just crazy right now but housing prices are so low we can't afford to sell and move.
     
  33. TeacherGrl7

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    Another something to think about. I wouldn't necessarily believe all the ads for jobs that you see. I know in my district, they are "advertising" for positions that they have already filled. By the time the ad hits the local papers and internet, it has already been internally filled by a sub, or someone whose position elsewhere in the district had to be cut, or someone who had to be let go and is now able to get the spot back. The positions are in our local newspaper, sure, but we all know that it's a sham.
     
  34. msmullenjr

    msmullenjr Devotee

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    I don't see how I could live on half, but I would take a small paycut if it saved jobs. There are about 100 teachers getting pink slipped this year (small district).
     
  35. JustMe

    JustMe Virtuoso

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    Sensitive to the experiences of others? Goodness, I'm just sharing my experiences. I never once indicated I thought they were typical...why do you suppose I find it baffling? :dizzy:

    Edited to Add: My stepfather was laid off in October, I think it was, my mother is blind and cannot work in our rural community, and my little brother had two serious surgeries for a life-threatening condition during his lay-off. He could not find work. They are in a financial mess. I am not implying that everyone who wants a job has one available to them. My entire point was to ask why are there people who seem to float here and there without a problem, and why can't my home district keep employees when there is such a dire need of employment? Perhaps you just misunderstood my point and my intentions, because I'm not being insensitive here.
     
  36. JustMe

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    Yes, I believe that is certainly sometimes the case whether during economical hard times or not. And I hate that because it gives people false hope. The positions available that I spoke of are primarily for instructional assistants, which the district can't seem to keep. As I mentioned earlier when stating I could probably get the position I formerly had if necessary, there is a high rate of turnover.
     
  37. MissWull

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    I have yet to have a permanent teaching position since getting my credential back in '08. I would LOVE nothing more than to have a teaching position...it would be my dream come true. BUT, I would not, and could not accept a teaching position with half the salary. My family and my own well-being come first and foremost and I could not take care of us on half of that salary.
     
  38. nasimi77

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    I was thinking the same thing giraffe. As a single person I could never survive on 1/2 pay...I struggle as it is now as a full time teacher!:eek:
     
  39. shouldbeasleep

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    Too many variables to get an accurate read on what the majority would do.

    Personally, I'm already taking a pay cut by having furlough days. And I'm too near retirement to stay for 1/2 pay. Plus, I don't like to hear talk of it. We've fought too long to be respected as a teacher. Willing to stay for half pay is insulting to our profession.
     
  40. Special-t

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    Feb 14, 2010

    Once something like pay is taken away, it's very hard to get it back. I think furlough days are a safer bet than agreeing to a salary reduction.
     
  41. McKennaL

    McKennaL Groupie

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    Feb 15, 2010

    Ok....

    Here is why i wrote this in the first place.

    I am DESPERATE to get a teaching job. i pretty well feel that if i don't get one THIS fall...that i might have to step OUT of the field (I student taught in Spring 08, been subbing for two years - but that can't last and is going nowhere, and I'm 50) I won't likely be able to get a job of any sort again -- not with the colleges STILL pouring out teachers without stop.

    But then - in looking to fill out and update applications - I look at a girlfriend's district. I would love to teach there - and teaching with HER would be a dream. It's in the FAR suburbs (definitely a move-but that would be FINE with me). There is LOTS of room for new housing - and before the crash there was housing going up like crazy out there.

    I read the superintendent's message to the community (I'll post it on the next post), and thought , "I would call him up and say that I would even work half-price JUST to get into that district."

    If you think that there aren't unemployed teachers out there thinking this same thing....then you haven't thanked God enough for your job yet. The only reason I think it wouldn't work is due to teaching unions....but heck YES, I'm that desperate.

    Ok...here comes his message (remember far suburbs of Chicago but a very large K-12 district with the potential to someday be a HUGE district)

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