Editorial: Corrected informationAn editorial regarding teacher raises and the state’s Qualified Economic Offer (QEO) in the June 17 edition of the Star-Observer contained inaccurate information.
An editorial regarding teacher raises and the state’s Qualified Economic Offer (QEO) in the June 17 edition of the Star-Observer contained inaccurate information.
First, after the elimination of the Qualified Economic Offer (QEO), the editorial stated that Wisconsin school teacher salaries have essentially doubled. That is not the case. The QEO cap was 3.8 percent per year (salary and benefits). The editorial stated that the increase for the coming year was 7.6 percent – the 7.6 percent is the average in the state for two-year contracts; essentially the same percentage as it was under the QEO.
Secondly, the Hudson teacher raises of 6.89 percent are also part of a two-year package. Under the two-year criteria, Hudson raises are less than the state average of 7.6 percent. Of the 6.89 percent increase, 2.23 percent of that is applied to last year’s steps and benefits. Teacher salary grids were frozen last year, but teachers still earned raises for step changes (years of experience). The amount of money applied to salaries last year is accounted for in the district’s step changes and the related cost increases. The remaining 4.66 percent represents salary and benefits for the second year of the contract.
The Star-Observer apologizes for inaccurate information presented in the June 17 editorial.
As a side note, school officials believe that the 6.89 percent contract increase is a realistic settlement in light of the collective bargaining laws and other circumstances. With the QEO no longer in effect, teachers are again more likely to use the arbitration process. If the Hudson School District and teachers were involved in arbitration, district administrators are concerned it would be difficult for the district to prevail. Hudson is paying lower than the state average (6.89 versus 7.6 percent) and Hudson is under the tax levy cap – both of those factors would weigh heavily against the district in an arbitration hearing.