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Sat Mar 9, 2013, 07:49 PM

Grand Rapids teachers say paycheck cuts qualify them for food stamps

GRAND RAPIDS, MI – Tina Ratliff never expected her teaching career would qualify her for public assistance.

The second-grade teacher at Grand Rapids Public Schools’ Burton Elementary was among nearly 150 teachers summoned by their union’s crisis team to pressure school officials Monday, March 4 to settle a pending contract and do something about applying a state law limiting what school districts and other public employers pay for employee health insurance premiums.

Since Feb. 15 when the district began deducting back health insurance premiums over what it’s allowed to pay under the state’s Publicly Funded Health Insurance Contribution Act of 2011, Ratliff said morale among teachers has suffered dramatically and a sort of depression has set in. Some are losing $300 per pay check.

“I am a five-year teacher who brings home $555.39 for two weeks and who currently qualifies for a Bridge Card,” Ratliff told the school board Monday to loud applause from her colleagues. “How is this possible?"

snipped from: http://www.mlive.com/news/grand-rapids/index.ssf/2013/03/grand_rapids_teachers_say_sala.html?fb_action_ids=4517614746029&fb_action_types=og.likes&fb_ref=s%3DshowShareBarUI%3Ap%3Dfacebook-like&fb_source=aggregation&fb_aggregation_id=288381481237582

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Reply Grand Rapids teachers say paycheck cuts qualify them for food stamps (Original post)
theaocp Mar 2013 OP
mbperrin Mar 2013 #1
proud2BlibKansan Mar 2013 #2
tsl89 Mar 2013 #3
savebigbird Mar 2013 #4
duffyduff Mar 2013 #5
CRK7376 Mar 2013 #6

Response to theaocp (Original post)

Sat Mar 9, 2013, 08:18 PM

1. A teacher here with 10 years or less and 3 kids

would qualify for food stamps.

No raises for two years so far, and no step increases, either, because the Lege cut contributions to schools by $5.4 billion to keep a fatter balance in the state rainy day fund.

One innovation: they are paying a bonus amount for every semester you don't quit. Now THAT's an incentive!!!!

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Response to theaocp (Original post)

Sat Mar 9, 2013, 08:31 PM

2. When I first started teaching my own kids were on free lunch at school

Same income level that's required for food stamps.

I've seen this story in the OP several places. Many friends have emailed it to me. But I'm more surprised that this is shocking to anyone. My own kids are grown people now. It was 30+ years ago when their mom's low salary got them a free lunch at school. The shock should be that beginning teachers have never been paid a decent salary.

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Response to theaocp (Original post)

Sat Mar 9, 2013, 11:00 PM

3. And People wonder...

Why the United States is so far behind in many subjects of education. If we pay our educators so little that our own government thinks they need extra assistance to obtain food and basic needs, then what kind of state of mind do we think they are in while going to work and educating the youth and future of this country?

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Response to tsl89 (Reply #3)

Sat Mar 9, 2013, 11:31 PM

4. It's Maslow, for teachers! n/t

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Response to tsl89 (Reply #3)

Sun Mar 10, 2013, 11:46 AM

5. And they STILL think they are overpaid and underworked.

 

It's a scandal.

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Response to theaocp (Original post)

Tue Mar 19, 2013, 01:45 PM

6. I left teaching

after spending 13 years in a high school classroom, partially because without my Army Reserve check, my family and I would have qualified for assistance, and my kids would have been eligible for reduced lunches and fees in the same school system I taught in. I was the paid worker in my family, but my wife was the stay home mom who worked harder than I did for no pay...but our kids had a parent home with them all day, after school etc...The Army offered me the chance to come back on active duty and my pay more than doubled overnight. That included my Army Reserve check and my school check combined. Now that I am nearing retirement from Uncle Sam I can't wait to get back into a high school classroom, but I know my teaching salary will be much smaller than what I receive now in the Army. But I will have in addition to a teacher's salary, an Army retirement check so I think it will all work out. I just can't wait to get back into a classroom again. I've been away too long.

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