Another “Berger Bonus” Is Not What We Need – Reward Versus Respect

On Tuesday afternoon, Sen. Phil Berger and other GOP leaders from the NC Senate will present their budget proposal for the next two years. Below is a snippet of the tweet sent out by his office offering some highlights.


And there are some inviting numbers there.

But remember that the House budget proposal that was issued last month right before the May 1st march and rally had some inviting numbers on it as well.

Money for construction and maintenance. Money for some more school psychologists. More “average” raises. And it will be interesting to hear about what that extra funds for public education will be.

Then there is that word – “Bonus.”

Phil Berger loves a bonus because it is an attempt to quell the argument for restoring longevity pay and graduate degree pay.

It’s sadistically funny that Berger wants to give veteran teachers a bonus for long term service as a teacher in NC. Wasn’t that what longevity pay was? But longevity pay was something that was given every year and still is to almost all other state employees.

Berger seems to mistake a “reward” with “respect.”

The use of a bonus instead of going ahead and restoring longevity pay for teachers is a matter of trying to equate a “reward” with actual “respect.” It brought to mind that there are many stark differences between rewards and respect.

  • A reward sounds like something that can be used as a political ploy. Respect needs no political prompt. Berger loves political ploys.
  • A reward could be a one-time gift. Respect is continuous and grows.
  • A reward is a reaction to something. Respect guides your actions.
  • A reward is giving teachers a bonus that gets taxed by the state. Respect would be to bring back longevity pay.

And a reward is promising to be more transparent in how issues are communicated between governing entities. Remember that last year Berger and his cronies passed the budget through a nuclear option.

Ultimately, respect is never having to have this be an issue in the first place.

And Sen. Phil Berger  does not respect public school teachers.