When it comes to teacher pay, one point usually overlooked is that teaching offers mobility in several directions. Once they gain qualifications and experience, they can, for instance, move to wealthier districts which pay more money for teachers with "proven track records".
Another avenue for advancement is in the unions. The president of the AFT, Sandi Weingarten, gets something like $250,000 per year, and many other union officials, many of them former teachers, earn six-figure salaries.
A third avenue for advancement is management, as the article, below, demonstrates. But for the rare exception, all principals are former classroom teachers. Under the new contract New York City has just signed with the principals union, starting salaries for elementary school principals will be $123,456 and starting salaries for assistant principals who work 12 months a year, rather than just the 10 months that school is in session, will rise to $108,869. Oh, and maximum base pay for high school principals, who are the top earners, will rise to $154,295.
And, just as a by-the-by, the most senior teachers now earn $93,416 in annual base salary, in a city whose median per-capita income is around $35,000.
If we consider that, every few years (right around contract time), the AFT moans how NYC teachers are "vastly underpaid" and that NYC is constantly losing teachers to the suburbs, one can only imagine (actually, one can look it up) what teachers are getting paid in the suburbs.
"Vastly underfunded"? How? ----------------------
http://www.nytimes.com/2007/04/23/education/23cnd-school.html?_r=1&ref=education&oref=slogin April 23, 2007 Bloomberg and Principals Union Reach a Deal By DAVID HERSZENHORN The Bloomberg administration and the union representing New York City school principals and assistant principals reached a tentative agreement today that would increase pay by 23 percent over nearly seven years, with bonuses of up to $25,000 a year to top-rated principals who agree to spend three years in troubled schools.
The agreement would end a four-year contract fight between the city and the union, known as the Council of School Supervisors and Administrators. The fight was unusually bitter even by the normally acid standards of New York City labor relations. The frustration of principals and assistant principals had threatened to undermine some of Mr. Bloomberg?s signature education initiatives, which call for increasing the authority of principals and giving them greater freedom from supervision, provided they meet performance targets.
The tentative deal, which still must be ratified by the union membership, would increase base starting salaries for elementary school principals to $123,456, from $100,242 under the former contract. The maximum base pay for high school principals, who are the top earners, would rise to $154,295 from $125,282.
The contract would also increase the maximum annual bonus that school supervisors can earn for good performance, to $25,000 from $15,000.
Starting salaries for assistant principals who work 12 months a year, rather than just the 10 months that school is in session, will rise to $108,869 from $88,398, and the maximum for these assistant principals will rise to $130,100 from $108,869.
For both principals and assistant principals, the work day is lengthened by 15 minutes. The union also agreed to align the annual performance reviews for principals with the Department of Education?s new accountability system, which will grade schools from A to F based on students? progress.
Mr. Bloomberg heralded the deal today as a fresh start between the city and its principals, whom the mayor, using one of his favorite corporate metaphors, has repeatedly irked by likening them to ?line managers? in a factory.
?This contract marks a new relationship between the administration and the principals of our city schools,? Mr. Bloomberg said in a statement, adding, ?We can now concentrate on investing in the future of our children and making each of our schools a center of excellence.?
While the salary increases, and a boost in retirement benefits, roughly tracked the raises for city teachers in recent years, by far the most interesting provision in yesterday?s accord was the agreement to create an ?executive principal? position, in which highly regarded veterans can earn an extra $25,000 a year on top of their base pay, by agreeing to work for three years in some of the city?s most troubled schools.
That provision will give Chancellor Klein a powerful tool to recruit seasoned school leaders to take on some of the city?s toughest educational trouble spots. Despite modest gains in recent years, more than 40 percent of the city?s school children in grades 3 to 8 still cannot read proficiently, in part because of persistent problems at troubled schools.
In the deal, announced today at City Hall by the mayor and the union president, Ernest A. Logan, the union agreed to Mr. Klein?s longstanding demand to end certain seniority rights, which allowed veteran assistant principals to force their way into desirable vacancies even over the objections of the school?s principal. Mr. Klein argued that those ?bumping rights? hindered principal leadership.
Under the proposed contract, the city will have to help find a position for any assistant principal left without an assignment, and offer a severance package or the opportunity to return to teaching to any assistant principal not offered a post. In addition to the general wage increases, every union member who is active in the school system as of June 27 this year will receive a lump sum payment of $4,000 in August. The union?s most recent contract expired on June 30, 2003.
In a statement, Mr. Logan, the union president said, ?We worked long and hard to arrive at this settlement on behalf of our membership, and I believe the progressive ideas and common-sense reforms it contains will serve as a model of success.?
The contract accord was reached at a time of seismic changes in the city school system?s administration. The 10 regional superintendents? offices created by the mayor just four years ago are being dismantled in favor of a new approach in which each school?s principal will choose from among three different types of ?school support? groups and pay for the service out of their school budgets.
Even as word of the contract deal spread rapidly across the city today, hundreds of principals were on their way to the Grand Hyatt Hotel in midtown for a huge information fair to help them shop for one of the new school support organizations. The timing of the deal most likely spared Mr. Klein, who was scheduled to speak at the event, from facing a hostile crowd.
The deal today is Mr. Bloomberg second long stride in a week toward quieting critics of his education polices. On Thursday, he reached agreements with the teachers? union and several other advocacy groups that have angrily opposed his latest reorganization of the school bureaucracy.
In those deals, the mayor bowed to a union request connected to his plans for changing the school budgeting system, granted a demand by immigrant advocates that more be spent on non-English speaking students, and agreed to create committees that would give the teachers? union and some community groups input on issues like toughening tenure rules for teachers and reducing class sizes.
In two separate contract deals in the last two years, the city?s teachers were granted generous raises, increasing pay by about 22 percent over six years and three months. In some cases, veteran teachers were earning more than the assistant principals who supervise them, adding to the dismay of supervisors over the delay in reaching their new contract.
The most senior teachers now earn $93,416 in annual base salary.