Gaining Perspective on Recent Salary Changes

As educators, we believe all CAVA teachers should earn a salary that is commensurate with educators at traditional schools in California. We are professionals, and take our teaching responsibilities seriously. CAVA receives the same amount of ADA per student as traditional schools, yet historically, we make much less. The low pay doesn’t just make it hard to support our families, it also contributes to the high rate of teacher turnover, which in turn harms our students.

Recently, our CAVA colleagues received two e-mail notifications about salary changes. These updates used the term “raise” to describe updated rates of pay. At first we were excited that these changes might help close that gap. Upon closer inspection, we found that the information in these e-mails was somewhat misleading. Some of our colleagues discovered they have not received much of a raise at all.

Here are some important facts to consider:

  • The 2013-2014 school year had 200 work days for teachers.
  • The 2014-2015 school year has 214 teacher work days.
  • An annual salary divided by the number of work days will show a daily rate of pay and will allow comparison of last year with this year.

MathHere are the figures using an example of a typical 2013-2014 base annual salary of $35,000. Daily rate of pay for 200 work days was $175. On June 10, 2014, our Head of Schools e-mailed notification of a Cost Of Living Adjustment of 2.5%. That adds $875 in this scenario. This June 10 e-mail also informed teachers of a “merit” increase ranging from 2 to 8%; however, it did not state the merit percentage the teacher actually earned. Teachers must calculate that for themselves, and are left wondering how administration arrived at that particular rate of increase, as no specific metrics on merit pay have been shared. A hypothetical 4% merit increase would add $1,400 to our example salary. Added together, the new salary for 2014-2015 school year would be $37,275. This figure divided by the 214 work days shows a daily rate of pay this year of $174.18. This is not a raise. It is a pay cut.

On August 7, 2014, someCAVA teachers were notified via e-mail of an additional 5% salary increase. A salary schedule for our school was published for the first time on this date. The new salary schedule shows that a teacher will earn base salary with no annual increase for the first 5 years of employment with CAVA. It has been discovered that the updated base rate of pay for new teachers hired to join our staff this year is a higher rate of pay than some of our continuing teachers. This might explain why some teachers received the 5% raise notice on August 7.

Take a closer look at what all these pay rate changes mean for you personally. Compare last year with this year. Look at our longer school year, additional work days, and daily rate of pay. Our administrative team would like you to believe you have received a substantial raise this year. Close examination may reveal that this is not quite true.

Click HERE to see our current year salary schedule

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