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Old 02-05-2012, 11:29 AM
 
Location: Back in COLORADO!!!
840 posts, read 2,034,880 times
Reputation: 1377

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Hi everybody,

So, I just took a job with D11. Once they get my background check back, they'll put me to work. I am excited about this job because it is stable and the benefits seem pretty dang good as well.

The only complaint I have is the starting wage. Now, I knew going in that I wasn't going to get rich, but the wage is very low compared to the private sector. Looking at the district's pay scale, the upper end of the range isn't too bad, so my question is, how does the district do pay raises?

I haven't actually started yet and I'm sure I can ask this of the human resources people, but I'm curious if I can get an idea of how they do it from someone who already works there.

Is it a yearly increase? Performance based? What kind of % is typical to expect? Bottom line, how long does it take to get closer to the high end of the pay scale?

Thanks in advance....
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Old 02-05-2012, 11:54 AM
 
5,007 posts, read 6,689,931 times
Reputation: 4517
I do. What job is it? Generally speaking, if there is a pay scale for your position, you move down one step per year of employment, but that is frozen right now due to budget problems. In some positions, you can move across the schedule for pursuing more education, but that is frozen right now due to budget issues. The thing that sucks about freezes is it is a cut in pay not just one year, but every single year after because they never put you back where you "would have" been.

The district also had furlough days this year which is a cut in pay. Each furlough day is about half a percent. Since you are coming in mid-year, that probably won't be taken out of your check this year, but furloughs are likely to be part of the picture again next year, so you might see $20-60 less per month depending on your rate of pay.

Most positions have some sort of performance component to pay that would factor in your evaluations, etc., - but that rarely means you can get bonuses or anything like that - usually it means if you work extra there is sometimes pay available for that - and if there isn't, you can, of course, say no. Poor performance simply means not keeping your job.

How many ever rows there are in the pay schedule, it will take you that many years to get to the bottom - typically in the 20's of years. As for pay raises, we haven't had them in awhile due to budget issues, but when we have, I remember 1 percent, 0.5%, I think a really good year was 3.5%. I even remember a time of about one year when they matched 401K's up to 3%, but that hasn't happened in a long time.

As a teacher, the only way to really get more more salary faster is to get a master's degree and more credits on top of that as soon as possible and to work a lot of extra jobs like club sponsorships, tutoring, coaching, summer jobs, etc., - but until the education increments are unfrozen you could be spending money that you can't make back in furthering your education.
The pay is a living wage, but yes, I do work part time on top of my full-time teaching position with a master's degree and over 10-years experience to make ends meet. I am a one-income household and it is doable but not living it up, so to speak. Of course, if I had no debts, things would be easy - but then again, then I'd also not have my degrees, so maybe it is a wash at this point.

Last edited by otowi; 02-05-2012 at 12:09 PM..
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Old 02-05-2012, 12:26 PM
 
5,007 posts, read 6,689,931 times
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Oh and congratulations on the job. I hope you enjoy it.
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Old 02-05-2012, 12:51 PM
 
Location: Back in COLORADO!!!
840 posts, read 2,034,880 times
Reputation: 1377
Thanks! I'm a Journeyman plumber by trade and, as I'm sure you can imagine, glad to have landed a stable gig in this economy. Truthfully, this is exactly the kind of position I've been looking for for some time now.

I was just a little taken aback by the wage, that's all. Don't get me wrong, I'm very enthusiastic about the job and can't wait to get started!
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Old 02-05-2012, 01:02 PM
 
20,314 posts, read 37,815,914 times
Reputation: 18102
An old pal, long passed on, used to say there were 2 things about plumbing to remember: Stuff flows downhill; they pay weekly and damned weakly.
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Old 02-05-2012, 01:11 PM
 
5,007 posts, read 6,689,931 times
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My dad was a journeyman union electrician for many years. Then, after sitting on the books for years, he got a job at a local school district until he retired last year The pay was less, but he was so much happier. He said people were nicer and more respectful to each other, and the work environment was more manageable as he got up in years. In the journeyman union world, respect for the old guys was a thing of the past and basically it was a young man's game and the people who made it were only those who could travel the whole country living in truck campers to follow the work - which got to be less and less appealing and realistic as he raised a family and got up in years. He spent so many years working in other cities or states, working night shifts, etc., in all kinds of awful weather and cramped spaces. I think in the end he felt the lower wage was well worth the better quality of life. I hope it will be the same for you.
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