Andy McKay

Jun 02, 2014

Teachers


I wanted to look at some numbers from the teachers conflict.

The teachers are asking for 10.75% + 2.75% over 4 years. That's 3.375% each year.

The BCPSEA have offered 7.25% over 6 years. That's 1.21% a year.

The BCPSEA is essentially a pay cut over the next 6 years, since the cost of living increases are likely to be over that increase in salary. But I was interested in how that compares to what has happened in the last 13 years. Because we can all see how greedy the teachers are. According to the Fraser Institute:

They signed a generous collective agreement in 2006 that gave them average wage increases of 2.5 per cent over five years,

Fraser Institute

Oh so, so generous. Let's just look at that.

As far as I can tell this is the salary increase and inflation increase each year since 2000:

YearIncreaseInflationBaseInflationDiff
20002.00%1.80%$30,000.00$30,000.00$0.00
20012.50%1.70%$30,600.00$30,540.00-$60.00
20022.50%2.40%$31,365.00$31,059.18-$305.82
20032.50%2.20%$32,149.13$31,804.60-$344.52
20040.00%2.00%$32,952.85$32,504.30-$448.55
20050.00%2.00%$32,952.85$33,154.39$201.53
20062.50%1.70%$32,952.85$33,817.48$864.62
20072.50%1.80%$33,776.67$34,392.37$615.70
20082.50%2.10%$34,621.09$35,011.44$390.34
20092.50%0.00%$35,486.62$35,746.68$260.06
20102.00%1.30%$36,373.78$35,746.68-$627.11
20110.00%2.40%$37,101.26$36,211.38-$889.88
20120.00%1.10%$37,101.26$37,080.46-$20.80
20130.00%-0.10%$37,101.26$37,488.34$387.08

Let's put that in some pretty graphs. If a teacher started on $30k salary and got no promotions or increase or salary from any other source:

Inflation vs wage increases:

Basically teachers are barely keeping up with inflation. When contracts get negotiated, they get slightly above inflation. Then there are years without a change. As you can see the raises aren't huge and over the long term just about track inflation.

A headline figure like "13.5% over 4 years" grabs the headlines and makes the teachers sound greedy, but its just not true.

Can we just get teachers salaries pegged with cost of living increases and get that out of the way and move on to the other stuff?

Update:

  • Why $30k as the base? In 2001 the median teacher salary in the lowest band was $33k. $30k seems like a nice simple round. The actual base number doesn't matter, I'm trying to show the changes in salary compared with inflation.
  • Does salary increase for other reasons? Yes, like most professional jobs seniority provides increases in salary. But that's where it gets complicated.

Sources:

  • https://www.bctf.ca/publications/ResearchReports.aspx?id=5564
  • https://www.bctf.ca/publications/ResearchReports.aspx?id=5578
  • http://www.bcpsea.bc.ca/documents/bb06-sep8ratify.pdf
  • http://www.bcstats.gov.bc.ca/StatisticsBySubject/KeyIndicators/KeyIndicatorsHighlights.aspx