Scottsdale Unified approves 3.5 percent pay bump for teachers next fall

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The Governing Board of the Scottsdale Unified School District voted Tuesday to approve a 3.5 percent pay increase for teachers beginning next fall, one night before teachers at several districts planned to protest for higher wages. (Source: 3TV/CBS 5) The Governing Board of the Scottsdale Unified School District voted Tuesday to approve a 3.5 percent pay increase for teachers beginning next fall, one night before teachers at several districts planned to protest for higher wages. (Source: 3TV/CBS 5)
The raise is significantly higher than the 1.06 percent jump planned by the state. (Source: 3TV/CBS 5) The raise is significantly higher than the 1.06 percent jump planned by the state. (Source: 3TV/CBS 5)
SUSD will spend an additional $2,000,000 to raise teacher salaries another 2.5 percent, for a total raise of 3.56 percent. (Source: 3TV/CBS 5) SUSD will spend an additional $2,000,000 to raise teacher salaries another 2.5 percent, for a total raise of 3.56 percent. (Source: 3TV/CBS 5)
SCOTTSDALE, AZ (3TV/CBS 5) -

The Governing Board of the Scottsdale Unified School District voted Tuesday to approve a 3.5 percent pay increase for teachers beginning next fall, one night before teachers at several districts planned to protest for higher wages.

The raise is significantly higher than the 1.06 percent jump planned by the state. SUSD will spend an additional $2,000,000 to raise teacher salaries another 2.5 percent, for a total raise of 3.56 percent, said spokeswoman Erin Helm.

[RELATED: AZ teachers increase protests and rallies; threat of strike looming]

That brings SUSD teacher pay increases to a total of more than 14 percent in the last four years, Helm said.

"SUSD recognizes the national movement underway to better compensate educators for the extraordinary work they do every day. The District will continue to look for ways to improve teacher pay in the future," she said.

[SPECIAL SECTION: Schools in Crisis]

[READ MORE: AZ teachers wear red in push for pay raise; future strike a possibility]

"The district alone can't meet as much as teachers deserve, but as we're waiting for state, federal - whatever government we need - to help us with that, we're going to do everything we can right here at home," she added in an interview.

[RELATED: Arizona teachers demand 20 percent raises during statewide protests]

Helm noted that the state contribution, funded by Proposition 123, was still pending legislative and gubernatorial approval.

Julie Cieniawski, the president of the Scottsdale Education Association, issued the following response via email:

While we are pleased with any pay increases we know the approved amount is not enough and we must be careful in analyzing the numbers.

The 3.56% offered includes:

  • .5% to the base (applies to all teachers)
  • 2.0% as a step to the salary schedule (those at the highest compensation and experience factor level will not receive this)
  • 1.06% Prop 123 Governor's STIPEND is not built-in to the base pay, is not a cumulative increase over time AND does not apply to ALL teachers. Only those paid through school fund 1000.

Additionally, we will dissect this increase as we have concerns how a pay increase can be determined when all funds available to consider have not yet been determined. The state budget has not been approved yet by the legislature, and the District Additional Assistance levels have not been calculated yet.

Also last year our salary was established, contracts were sent out and THEN the district added three (3) additional work days without additional compensation.

Issues with trust, yup.

And tonight at this very same meeting the [Governing Board] decided to pass along a 6% insurance increase to all employees.

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Derek StaahlDerek Staahl is an Emmy Award-winning reporter and fill-in anchor who loves covering stories that matter most to Arizona families.

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Derek Staahl

This once-uncompromising "California guy" got his first taste of Arizona in 2015 while covering spring training baseball for his former station. The trip spanned just three days, but Derek quickly decided Phoenix should be his next address. He joined CBS 5 and 3TV four months later, in August 2015. Before packing his bags for the Valley of the Sun, Derek spent nearly four years at XETV in San Diego, where he was promoted to Weekend Anchor and Investigative Reporter. Derek chaired the Saturday and Sunday 10 p.m. newscasts, which regularly earned the station's highest ratings for a news program each week. Derek’s investigative reporting efforts into the Mayor Bob Filner scandal in 2013 sparked a "governance crisis" for the city of San Diego and was profiled by the region’s top newspaper. Derek broke into the news business at WKOW-TV in Madison, WI. He wrote, shot, edited, and presented stories during the week, and produced newscasts on the weekends. By the end of his stint, he was promoted to part-time anchor on WKOW’s sister station, WMSN. Derek was born in Los Angeles and was named the “Undergraduate Broadcast Journalism Student of the Year” in his graduating class at USC. He also played quads in the school’s famous drumline. When not reporting the news, Derek enjoys playing drumset, sand volleyball, and baseball.

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