“It is time for the Philadelphia Federation of Teachers to share in the sacrifice.”
This statement has dominated recent news, with the School District of Philadelphia claiming that givebacks on health benefits are necessary to help balance the budget.
Not only does this statement insult the educators who rely on the PFT Health and Welfare fund to keep them healthy and working, it assumes that teachers have not already sacrificed, when we have -- and there’s a exact dollar amount for each and every teacher.
How to Calculate What You've Already Given Back
First off, if you haven’t yet added up the supplies you buy out of pocket, do so. Especially if you used to be a recipient of the $1000 “high needs classroom” stipend!
The most important calculation, though, is your frozen salary.
If you are not yet maxed out on the salary schedule, you "gave back" thousands of dollars in unearned pay for the last school year -- and since the pay scale is still frozen, you're on track to give back even more for 2017-2018. For example, a teacher frozen at Step 5 has already saved the District $2753 last year, and will save them $5419 this year.
Use the salary schedule below to calculate your exact giveback by subtracting your frozen step salary from your actual level of seniority. If you were frozen out of an education increase, include that in your calculation as well.
Then, make your giveback public knowledge. Tell your friends and family. Post it on Facebook. Talk about it at work. Inform the parents of your students. Break the silence that employees have about salary (especially since all of our salaries are already public record.) We need to combat the fallacy that teachers have not sacrificed. We know the truth, the public needs to hear it from us.