Teaching Profession

NEA Defines a ‘Competitive Compensation Schedule’

By Stephen Sawchuk — May 25, 2010 1 min read
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In comments on a federal performance-pay initiative that’s poised to expand, the National Education Association urged the Department of Education to require participating districts to prove that they’ve established a “competitive compensation schedule” before instituting a performance-bonus system.

I’ve always wondered what the union’s vision of an ideal compensation schedule consists of, and this document essentially lays that out.

Apparently, the union feels that teachers’ baseline salaries should be equivalent to those seen in other professions, or at least $40,000. No surprises there, since the $40,000 figure has been a core part of NEA’s national salary initiative for some time.

But then I came across this line: A competitive salary advancement schedule means earning “significant” wage increases such that one’s salary doubles in 10 years.

NEA literature calls for a “short and strong” salary schedule, and one of its bargaining experts told me once that the national office advocates for a compressed schedule, not one that goes on for dozens of years. But I didn’t realize that the union had raises of that magnitude in mind.

So, do any schedules out there operate this way? Is it feasible from an economic or budgeting standpoint? What effect could this schedule have on flow of teachers into and out of the workforce? And would districts—and unions—that have bargained much longer schedules be willing to trade them in?

Those are just a few questions that came to my mind. Does anyone out there care to weigh in with some answers?

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A version of this news article first appeared in the Teacher Beat blog.