Friday, May 15, 2009

The Three Stooges Brag How The NYC Teacher Salary Has Risen Significantly. How Do We Compare To Long Island?

I can only snicker when I hear the three stooges, Mayor Mike (Moe), Chancellor Klein (Larry), and UFT President Randi Weingarten (Curly) tell the world how well they have improved teacher pay. Granted our pay has went up. (If you assume that an average 3.28% annual increase is significant under Kleinberg). However, the mediocre salary increase came with outrageous givebacks, abusive regulations, increased paperwork, and more teacher time. How does our salary compare to the average teacher salary in a typical middle-class community on the South Shore of Suffolk County?

The community of East Islip in Suffolk County is a typical middle class community and is about in the middle of the salary range in Long Island. The maximum salary in East Islip is $127,000 compared to $100,000 in New York City. The difference is 27%. Quite a significant difference for top salary. However, since the maximum salary requires 60 credits above a masters degree, some people may say that is an unfair comparison. Therefore, lets look at the average annual salary for the two communities. In NYC the average salary is generously assumed to be $60,000. This number is probably less with the influx of inexpensive newbie teachers in the school system. On the other hand, the average teacher salary in East Islip is $87,000 or 45% greater than the average NYC teacher salary! In addition to salary, the East Islip Schools have half the Administrators that a similarly sized NYC school has and most importantly, all the Administrators are long-term teachers and work collaboratively with the staff unlike the "Leadership Academy Principals" who have limited classroom experience and fail to include teacher input into running the school. The result is that East Islip has a smoothly running school system while many of the NYC schools are dysfunctional and adversarial.

So next time you hear the three stooges crow about the increase in NYC teacher pay, Remember, it is still significantly lower than the typical Long Island teacher makes and they don't suffer the abuse that we do in the schools.


NYC Educator said...

Actually I think I have those 6o credits. However, everyone would if we were paid for them, so I think the 6o above is a fair comparison.

17 (really 15) more years said...

If NYC offered a 60 above differential, I would actually get motivated to get my admin. certification (not that I would do anything with it).

Chaz said...

I do understand that we don't have the opportunity to increase our salary with more credits. However, I do know quite a few teachers who haven't bothered to get their 30+ credits.

Anonymous said...

why do they pay administrators such a high salary? They don't have experience or competence. Give the money to the teachers.Also, here is a question to the DOE, Why do you need so many administrators? One is holding the pen, when is figuring out how to write, and the other one is doing the actual writing.

Chaz said...


I would also point out that their administrators are almost all long0term teachers. This includes the District Superintendent.

Rachel Grynberg said...

It's not about how many credits you have (and I have the 60, just FYI) but about just placing a premium on experience. If you went to see a doctor with 17 years of experience, you'd pay her/him differently than one with 5 years -- assuming you weren't just using your union co-payment. The point is, if you HAD to pay more, you'd surely do it so that the person, say, opening you with a rib-spreader, had done it a couple of hundred times before.

Chaz said...


I couldn't agree with you more on the experience thing. In fact I wrote about this on September 26, 2008. Check it out.

Anonymous said...

Teachers have never been really considered true professionals. They are more aligned with civil servants. For one, most traditional professionals like doctors, lawyers, accountants have a direct fee relationship with their clients, two, their roles and functions are much clearly defined, while we as teachers do not on both accounts with some minor exceptions.
Being a union member itself testifies our inability to function as independent and seperate entity, and our reliance on group action.
Union is a parasite on the good economy and on the easy money, now we are in a dump.

Friends, good days for union members are gone, at least long long time, if not forever.
I hate to say it that no matter how bad and harsh BloomKlein treats teachers, and plays the dirty games, they are most likely on the right side of the history, and as we all know that history is often hard and cruel.

I check in this site often, to tell you the truth, I am with you but not for too long.

Anonymous said...

Urban education just like auto industry is in lot of trouble for long time. Someone has to get hurt to keep it alive and together.

Chaz said...


I consider myself a true professional and just because our union leaders and the politicians don't treat us as such is disgusting. However, we are treated this way because many of the teachers don't want to stand up for their rights, whether it is in the school or the contract.

Anonymous said...

There have been heros who ended up losing, you may be one of them. Hats off to you.

Chaz said...


To ignore abuses and let lies go unchallenged is the reason we are run by DOE non-educators and people like Randi with six months of classroom experience.

Anonymous said...

You have to be an realist sooner or later. See what are we up against? We have no friends, no even in Obama whom I or most of us voted for with great hope.
Duncan is the most powerful secretary of education in our history with 100 billion dollars to give away. He is all for closing schools and giving them to private companies while firing everyone from the closed schools.
Compared to the teachers in Chicago and DC, we at least have ATR to fall back on.
There are battles to be won, but the war is almost lost.

Anonymous said...

Regarding teacher pay- we must also remember that each district on Long Island is run by its' own independent Board of Education, there is NOT one unified entity, as we have here in New York City.
Teachers on Long Island may even be interviewed and hired by the District Superintendents personally, to fill open teaching slots, giving the whole process a much more personal feeling, and yes,teachers on Long Island are treated with 'way more respect by their superiors than happens in the city.
The pay? Presumbably, pay for teachers on Long Island is due to the higher taxes and value that parents and residents on Long Island ascribe to education there. Here in the city, students are much more transient, the tax base is lower, and people who can do so send their children here to be truly educated in private schools, as opposed to the public schools, which are perceived to be dangerous and unproductive. Unfortunately, try as we might, city teachers cannot fight the overwhelming perception of city schools as being "failing" by outsiders, even though we know that it's NOT the teachers that are doing a poor job, but rather the administration, starting from good 'ole Mayor Mike.Is it any wonder that so many younger teachers, raised in the suburbs flee the city schools, once they have gained some experience, if they choose to stay in this business, which it's become?
Hell, if I were younger, so would I - what a dream to be treated as a professional, get commensurate pay, and actually have the opportunity to REALLY teach instead of doing what I'm doing now, which amounts to nothing more than glorified babysitting, without books, supplies, technology that is abundant in public schools on Long Island and other suburbs of New York.

Anonymous said...

As the person that has posted a "Anonymous" is saying: Schools on Long Island are NOT run by a Departmentof Education as is N.Y.C. Each town, village, etc., is run by its' OWN Board of Education, and it is true that the Superintendant of the individual school districts do the hiring for the schools, not as is done in N.Y.C.
I also agree with the fact that schools and education are taken much more seriously on Long Island- households are generally more stable, families are not apt to move so much, AND the taxes paid on Long Island are higher- a choice that parents knowingly make to move to the suburbs, ensuring that the schools are of a better quality and TRUE teaching and learning exist. Unfortunately, such situations DO NOT exist here in the city- The Bronx is considered to be the poorest of all the boroughs, Brooklyn next, then Manhattan, Queens, and Staten Island. Most of the public school students in N.Y.C. are consumers of society, as are their parents, and do not have a stake in the society as a whole- they are barely living at subsistence level, and do not have the social and economic tools to invest in education. Yet, as N.Y.C. teachers, we are supposed to somehow overcome all of these social and economic problems faced by N.Y.C. students, and turn them into budding rocket scientists. And, without the equipment to do so.
So long as the realities of teaching in N.Y.C. schools is thrown under the rug, and a good face is put on it, we will never be treated as professionals or earn the respect of the general public. As it is, the teachers take the brunt of the blame for not turning out "good" students, becasue it is perceived that we are the problem, not the administration, the students themselves, or the households that they are coming from.
Anonymous is right- it's a losing battle. And, if I were younger, I'd be making the choice to teach in the more well heeled suburbs myself, instead of knocking myself out trying to work with no supplies, books, technology and less than motivated students that have not been inculcated with the value of having an education to lift themselves up.