About that 24% pay hike for teachers

Posted By: John Moore · 1/5/2013 5:14:00 PM

You've heard the figure again and again: Since he was elected Dalton McGuinty has raised teachers' pay 24%!  What an outrageous figure. Did you get a 24 percent pay raise? Who do teachers think they are?

There's no question our province's teachers are well paid. They should be. They are university educated people specially trained to not only look after your kids but to teach them; to give them basic and essential life skills and in some cases ignite a passion that could change the course of their lives. I don't know a single person who wasn't heavily influenced by a teacher. I guess I have been especially lucky because from Miss Parks to Mrs. Miller, Miss Kilpatrick, Dr. Lewis, Dr. George and Mr. Peterson (and that's just up until high school graduation) I had teachers who were dedicated and creative and loved by their students. 

So lets' agree that it's not outrageous to start someone at $45K a year with pay upgrades after several years on the job that reflect the fact that with time most teachers become more skilled at their jobs. For those teaching specialties who may hold Masters and PhDs and who continue to improve their skills through training the pay can top out in the low 90s.

But back to that mind boggling 24% pay increase under McGuinty. I finally went back and did the math. Allowing for the fact that the teachers agreed to a two year pay freeze we can spread a 24% pay hike over the years 2003 through 2014 when the new "deal" expires. If you compound the inflation rate and include Bank of Canada projections for the next two years you end up with goods and services rising during this same time by 22.9%. Perhaps not the most outrageous raise ever handed out. True, not everyone gets cost of living but instead of begrudging it perhaps we should all be asking for it (for the record Astral Media tends to keep up with the cost of living). 

The ball (or grenade) in this whole mess is now in the teachers' court. Here's hoping they heed the advice of The Star's Friday editorial and agree that they've been beaten up by a shameless government, but it's time to move on. Revenge can come at the ballot box. 

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