How is the value of various jobs decided?

Reply Wed 29 Jul, 2009 04:40 pm
Well, if it's just 'good' unions, than that's ok.... <rollyeyes> <sigh>

Thomas, parents sue schools all the time - no accident necessary.

But, good points everyone.
Reply Wed 29 Jul, 2009 05:17 pm
Well, it's also, really I think, a reflection of what is really important to a society.

Making money (and a short term view of that) is where it's at....even more so in the US than here, I think.

I mean, if you and I go on strike, (meaning our professions) really who gives a damn?

In your case, the parents will arc up pretty quickly, so you ought to have more industrial muscle than I, for instance, do.

But will there be big money lost? No.

Governments DO get affected by teachers' strikes here....bad publicity and all...but they've been able to hold up the latest teachers' pay case for some YEARS at the moment.

Formerly, they had a tougher and more skilled union, and a more politicised work force, and were able to pull what seemed to me at the time a lot of money.

For ages, my lot got paid way less than teachers....oddly, I think it's running the other way at the moment, and we are gradually (in the specialist areas) getting senior grade as the entry point....but not in the big employment areas, like welfare and such.

I say oddly because:

My lot won't strike, and if we do, we maintain all crisis services....mainly we do dumb work bans...and all of this affects nobody, really, except the most stuffed and disadvantaged people. Again, all this only affects governments if they get really embarrassed...nobody important loses money.

But any form of work that has to do with social capital gets poorly paid.

Look at the wages of CEO's for instance (I know there's maybe a dip right now) vs the wages of the people who run the country.

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Reply Wed 29 Jul, 2009 07:13 pm
littlek wrote:
Thomas, parents sue schools all the time - no accident necessary.

What is the nature of those lawsuits? Could schools avoid damage payments by paying higher wages to teachers, retaining the good ones they already have, and attracting more outsiders into the profession?

As I recall, none of the lawsuits I read about in the news had anything to do with teacher quality. They were about different kinds of conflict: "Your school had my daughter stripped naked and patted down in an out-of-control search for prescription meds, which she didn't carry." Or, "Your school violated my son's free speech rights by confiscating his banner about bongs". Last weekend in Boston, you mentioned that teachers can get in trouble for overlooking four-letter-words in books before they assign them. That one still makes my eyes roll: 'Who cares how much my kid learned because the teacher assigned this book? If it's not a hundred percent ****-free, he's toast!'

Anyway, are these cases fairly typical of the ones you run across in your work? If so, they provide no incentive for schools to hire more teachers, train them better, and pay them better.
Reply Wed 29 Jul, 2009 08:25 pm
JPB wrote:

Strangely enough I used to know a few teachers who worked as flaggers during the summer. Others drove public buses as temps while the regulars were on vacations. Some teach summer school, some take the summers off, but many take on seasonal jobs during their school "vacation".

JPB mentions something I've often wondered about....
Serious question Littlek, I really don't know how it works...

For agruments sake, let's just say a teacher works 9 months out of the year.

Do they make $15.75 an hour for the approx 1500 hours that would constitute 9 months worth of work, or do they paid $15.75 an hour for the entire year, which is approx 2000 hours?

That's the difference between making $31,500 a year and $23,625 a year.

If it's the $31,500, that's like making $21 an hour, and you have 3 free months to work another job. Let's say you only worked 8 weeks of the 12 available to you, at $10/hr. Now you're making $35K a year....if you could get an 8 week summer job for $15/hr, you'd be making a little more than $36K a year.

Comparing what a flagger does to what a teacher does reminds me of the thread Pentacle Queen has going on about what you would like a layman to know about your job.
Unless you talked to them, you don't know what other things the flagger has to do, that you don't see.
I'm just thinking...there has been a crew of men working on our street on and off through most of the Spring, and into the Summer. We've learned over time that almost the entire crew is related to each other....cousins, brothers, one of the fathers...so they really work together seamlessly. I've sat and watched them for an hour or two at a time, and they work their asses off. On top of that I've seen them almost get hit a number of times, cursed at, people approaching them like it's their fault they were assigned to do major repairs on the various streets in the neighborhood (but at the same time, these same people are the ones that complain the streets are in bad repair and "someone should do something about it")

I'm not arguing for or against teachers making more or less money.

For some people, teaching is their vocation, they feel like they were called to do that, and they wouldn't be happy doing anything else. To others, it's just a job.
My neighbor is a teacher, and honestly, I can tell she really don't even like kids. Occassionally I'll ask her how the school year is going, and I've yet to hear her say anthing positive about her students.

I remember a poster that hasn't been here in like forever...planinoldme...who used to disgust me with how much she obviously loathed each and every one of her students.

Aides who work in nursing homes get paid very little, and have people spit at them, throw things at them, call them vile names, and for all that they get the privilege of cleaning up relative strangers **** and making sure they don't fall and kill themselves.

They don't need to be educated, but they do need to daily take care of your mother. They'd love to get $15.75.

In short, it's all apples and oranges.....I can't say who's worth what until I walk a mile in their individual shoes.

Some teachers are worth a lot more, others aren't worth half of what they make.
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Reply Wed 29 Jul, 2009 08:34 pm
Deb - I think there's been a parallel payscale change for social workers and sped staff here. Sped teachers get the same pay as regular ed teachers and jobs are a little easier to find.

Thomas - lawsuits are brought on when parents feel the school system is not serving their child properly. In special ed, for example, we need to provide appropriate services to educate sped students. If we can't do the job, we need to pay to educate students in specialized schools, pay for the transportation to the schools, etc. Parents sue the school system which is publicly funded. Often this is about a combination of failures in the district, school and the individual classroom. Sending students out of district (to specialized schools) is VERY expensive.

By having more highly trained teachers (and social workers, psychologists, administration, etc), schools avoid some pitfalls (training teachers to prevent students from being treated the way they were in the instances you mentioned). I think teacher quality has at least something to do with the lawsuits you laid out. We pointed out last week that a teacher getting in trouble for providing a book with bad language would most likely get some sort of warning. Especially around where I work (it might get nastier in the bible belt).

I'm too tired to make sense probably......
Reply Wed 29 Jul, 2009 08:51 pm
No, the sense you're making is perfectly good. Thanks for teaching me something interesting!
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