Tuesday, December 17, 2002

Why Work Harder?

This little vignette from the Education Intelligence Agency makes it clear why teachers have no incentive to perform better.

Unions Win Battles Against Individual Pay Hikes. Back on June 11, 2001, EIA first told the tale of Matthew Hintz, an industrial arts technology teacher hired by the Crete school district in Nebraska for $2,350 more than the district's usual starting salary. Hintz was the only qualified applicant, and that's how much he wanted. The district placed him at step one on the salary schedule, and added a $2,350 "bonus" to cover the difference between base salary and what he had been promised.

The Crete Education Association filed a complaint with the state Commission of Industrial Relations, claiming this arrangement was a "deviation" that violated the collective bargaining agreement. The commission agreed. The district took the case to court and the Nebraska Supreme Court decided 7-0 last week that districts cannot bypass the union to pay teachers more. According to the Omaha World-Herald, the union's attorney "hailed the ruling as a victory for collective bargaining."

Meanwhile, in Arizona, the Scottsdale Education Association filed a grievance against the district for its plan to spend as much as $500,000 on teachers who serve on committees or as club advisers. The union wants the money divided among all the district's teachers.

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