Remember Longevity Pay? NC Teachers Are the Only State Employees Who Do Not Receive It. There’s a Devious Reason.

In the long session of 2014, the NC General Assembly raised salaries for teachers in certain experience brackets that allowed them to say that an “average” salary for teachers was increased by over 7%. They called it a “historic raise.”

However, if you divided the amount of money used in these “historic” raises by the number of teachers who “received” them, it would probably amount to about $270 per teacher.

That historic raise was funded in part by eliminating teachers’ longevity pay.

Similar to an annual bonus, this is something that all state employees in North Carolina — except, now, for teachers — gain as a reward for continued service. The budget rolled that money into teachers’ salaries and labeled it as a raise.

longevity

That’s like me stealing money out of your wallet and then presenting it to you as a gift. And remember that teachers are the only state employees who do not receive longevity pay.

Just teachers.

It’s almost like the North Carolina General Assembly doesn’t even want to have teachers be considered employees of the state.

This summer will be the fourth summer that veteran teachers will not receive longevity pay. For the many veteran  teachers who have never really seen a raise in the past 6-7 years in actual dollars, the loss of longevity pay actually created a loss of net income on a yearly basis.

Consider the following table compiled by John deVille, NC public school activist and veteran teacher who has chronicled the various changes in educational policy for years. He tracked the recent teacher pay “increase” and used DATA-DRIVEN logic to show something rather interesting.

teacherpay2019

What deVille did was to compare salaries as proposed from the recent budget to the 2008-2009 budget that was in place right before the Great Recession hit, the same financial catastrophe that most every GOP stalwart seems to forget happened ten years ago. Adjusting the 2008-2009 salary schedule with an inflation index from the Bureau of Labor, the third column shows what those 2008-2009 salaries would be like now. Most steps see a shortfall. Add to that the loss of longevity pay that was used to help finance these “historic raises” and the amount of money lost by teachers over these past ten years becomes rather eye-opening.

Longevity pay does mean that much to veteran teachers. It also means a lot to the NCGA because they used its elimination to help wage a systematic war against veteran teachers.

In the last four years, new teachers entering the profession in North Carolina have seen the removal of graduate degree pay bumps and due-process rights. While the “average” salary increases have been most friendly to newer teachers (financed in part by removal of longevity), those pay “increases” do plateau at about Year 15 in a teacher’s career. Afterwards, nothing really happens. Teachers in that position may have to make career-ending decisions.

The removal of longevity might make those decisions easier to make on a personal level, but more difficult for the state to recover from.

Veteran teachers fight for schools, for students, for fairness in funding, and for the profession. When they act as a cohesive group, they represent an entity that scares the current leaders of the North Carolina General Assembly like nothing else.

One of the best ways to act as a cohesive group is to vote in November.

19 thoughts on “Remember Longevity Pay? NC Teachers Are the Only State Employees Who Do Not Receive It. There’s a Devious Reason.

  1. I retired this year after 37 years. I am a true victim of this scam. Decided if I was going to be poor, I would go all in.

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  2. Teachers are educated and see through the scam! The general public just hears the politicians bragging about our so called raise! NC Politicans that are inflicting serious damage to Public Education need to be voted out in November!

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  3. My only quibble is that the 7 percent figure they advertised that year accounted for the lost longevity pay. It didn’t ignore that longevity was eliminated. If they had ignored the elimination of longevity, they would have described it as something like an 8.6% increase.

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  4. If N.C. hates veteran teachers so much, they need to change the retirement age and years with no penalties so we can retire sooner. I would love to go to another state for a second retirement with higher pay and more respect for my future. That’s the only way I can afford to retire is work more years, buy into another system with 5 years of private school experience (that N.C. doesn’t accept towards retirement) and get a second retirement. Right now, I feel like I’m wasting time & money in N.C.

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  5. Veteran teachers also help newer teachers get oriented, help and encourage them in their first year or two of teaching. The first year can be extremely difficult and that kind of support is greatly needed. They also provide context and background information, a long-term perspective that may not be available to newer teachers. These short-sighted policies explained above can actually remove needed human resources from many schools and school districts.

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  6. Yes. And they get you with retirement as well. Since your retirement salary is based on your last 4 years, if you have no raise for those 4 years, and no longevity, what’s the point in continuing? I didn’t…after23 years, I threw in the towel! Like someone else said, if you are gonna be poor…

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    • I lost my longevity and basically had a pay cut. I threw in the towel also after 26.64 years of service. Most days were a minimum of 10 to 11 hours.

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  7. This year, beginning my 25th, I do not receive any pay raise what so ever. After losing my longevity, my salary has actually decreased. Since it it evident that we will never get a raise again, we should focus on regaining our longevity. When I signed on, lingevity was one of the things promised to me as a benefit. Does that mean there is a breech of contract on the state’s side?

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    • So vote Democrats back in, and see what happens. I remember when NCAE encouraged everyone to vote for Bev Perdue. She actually TOOK BACK money that was already paid to teachers, and she ran as a friend of teachers because she had been one! I really don’t know if she was Democrat or Republican. I’m just saying look up how they’ve voted before you vote.

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  8. I agree that we are getting duped! My longevity enabled me to be home with my kid during summer instead of getting a summer job… (as a retiree who is coming back fulltime, I can tell you that retirement is based on your highest 4 consecutive years… not just the last 4) For me those years were the ones I taught summer school.

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  9. I will be leaving the profession in 2 years. At that time I will be eligible for retirement. I will not go on any longer even if I have to get a part time job flipping burgers. I will only have 20 years in but I’m done. So tired of getting ripped off. May go to another state, don’t know yet.

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  10. Public education is the most democratic endeavor this country has ever undertaken. Nothing underscores our ideal of equality of opportunity more.

    But like all noble goals, it’s costly to achieve. The NCGA has apparently decided it’s too costly. Cutting longevity pay signals this conclusion in part. They’re going to de-incentivize public school teaching so much that very few will stay in it long enough to draw a full retirement pension. They want a continuous cycle of young, lower-salaried teachers coming in, holding the job for 3-5 years, leaving before qualifying for any long-term benefits, and then getting replaced by the next wave who will do the same. And while some young teachers are fantastic, this continuous turnover is hurting schools.

    But this is only part of a broader strategy. It’s far cheaper for the state, obviously, if North Carolinians will pay for their own education through private school tuitions. But how can you convince them to do that? You scare them with the image of failing, secular, and possibly dangerous public schools. If you can do that, then “public school” will take on the same connotation as “public housing” or “public transportation,” and more will opt out.

    So it becomes a self-fulfilling prophecy. The NCGA says, “Because public schools are failing, we’re going to cut their funding.” And then public schools struggle all the more, allowing legislators to say, “See? We told you they were failing.”

    While it’s easy to throw off at the NCGA for its calculated, cynical assault on public education — and I do — what’s more disappointing is that the NC voters, the vast majority of whom have benefitted themselves from public education and still know children (their own, or their grandchildren, or neighborhood kids, what have you) that they love who are in the system, continue to elect these same legislators. Shame on us. We’re getting what we voted for, but sadly, this state’s children are not getting what they need.

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  11. I have taught for over 20 years. I describe myself as old, tired and tenured, LOL! I have not had an actual raise in years, With the loss of ABC incentives and longevity when adjusted for inflation, I earned more in the late 1990’s/early 2000’s. A few years ago, I checked on my early retirement and the check at 20 years experience and 50 years old with a G certificate was about $700 a month before taxes. I literally cried! I was a fool to believe that at the least I would have a livable pension. The system screws teachers at every turn. Every ounce of joy has been squeezed out of teaching. I have decided to work perhaps another year or two and leave. I am a three time teacher of the year, department chair with a master’s degree and I honestly think I can earn more working part time in the private sector. I never expected to make a fortune teaching and Yes, teaching can be very rewarding in non-monitory ways, but the doctor nor the grocery story will accept my teacher of the year key chains for payment!

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