Substitutes want more money, too |

Substitutes want more money, too

Mary Thompson

Not protected by the power of collective bargaining, some substitute teachers in the Lake Tahoe Unified School District are unhappy with their wages.

John Taylor, who’s been a substitute teacher in the district for 10 years, brought his case before the school board in Tuesday’s meeting.

In a questionnaire study he conducted, Taylor showed that at the rate of $75 per day, Lake Tahoe Unified School District ranks 12th of 16 districts compared. Top wages paid in the 16 districts were $95 per day and the lowest at $65 per day. The districts included in the study were chosen for their similarities in size and funding to LTUSD.

Taylor also said that in the 10 years he’s worked as a substitute, he’s only received two raises, once from $60 to $66 and then six years later from $66 to $75. He’s been working at the current rate of $75 per day for three years.

“Who else would accept a job that doesn’t give you a raise for six years,” he said. “Our whole society is based on a yearly cost of living increase. Everybody else in the district gets a cost of living increase, why shouldn’t we?”

Superintendent Rich Alexander said Taylor’s complaint is a legitimate concern.

“We believe we ought to be paying a competitive rate,” he said. “We will have to work on it.”

But Alexander said other issues are taking priority over substitute wages.

Taylor could guess what it was.

“There are more pressing things on their minds, like teachers’ contracts,” he said. “But we’re being ignored and put at the bottom of the list, we’re an afterthought.”

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