The Snohomish Education Association—the local teachers’ union in Snohomish County—has an alarming new approach to allocating salaries. As the Freedom Foundation points out, the salary allocation—agreed to by the Snohomish School District—is a “reverse Robin Hood” of sorts. Essentially, under the union’s new salary schedule, the union wants to reduce “the wages of lower-paid teachers to enhance the wages of the higher-paid teachers.”
The salary contract will result in paying some teachers (those that have not reached a certain level of seniority) less than what the state intends. The Freedom Foundation,
“Nearly every teacher who earns under $40,000 in base pay or who has less than five years seniority gets paid less than the state intends. It appears that those at the top of the salary schedule with a base pay from the state of more than $60,000 are using the underpayment of beginning teachers to add $1,289 to their state allocation.
“Of the 114 different possible pay cells on the salary schedule, 36 are getting paid more than the state base. By our estimates, this results in a total of 201 teachers being paid more than the state base and 234 being paid less.”
Perhaps the most disturbing aspect of the new contract is the possibility that Snohomish’s local teachers’ union are favoring themselves. The majority of the union’s top decision makers (5 out of 7) will receive salary hikes as a result of the new contract.
The disturbing lack of transparency afforded by the Snohomish Education Association in contract development raises valid questions and warrants further investigation—especially given the nature of the new salary contract.