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Twilightprincess
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04 Jun 2022, 7:05 am

Have you ever dealt with a situation like this?

I was a longterm substitute teacher, making decent money. Then I got hired to be a special education teacher at the end of February.

When I went to sign my pre-hire paperwork, the administrator said that my pay would be prorated and that she didn’t know exactly how much I’d be making. It seemed to be more of an afterthought that she just slipped into the conversation, so I didn’t think it would be that bad. The situation, I later learned, is that I am getting paid for 3 months work stretched out over 6 months since they don’t include a teacher’s time over the summer.

When I got my first paycheck, I was shocked because it was about a third less than what I was expecting. It’s way less than I was making as a sub.

Based on some other stuff that’s going on, I feel like they are using me.

I was hoping to move out of low income housing this summer, but I won’t be able to. This is not a livable wage. I’ve not been able to pay my bills.

Even when I get my regular salary, starting at the end of August, my pay still is a bit lackluster. I’ve recently learned that they are hiring a couple of flexible, longterm subs at a higher salary than mine.

I recently told a couple of teachers I trust about the situation, and they were shocked. They think I’m being used because I’m so “sweet” and “nice” that administration wouldn’t think I’d complain or try to fight it. I’m really not that sweet; I just appear to be. I would gladly sue them if I was ever presented with a good reason, like my predecessor who successfully sued them for sexual discrimination.


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kraftiekortie
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04 Jun 2022, 7:38 am

I wonder if you should speak to somebody, anonymously, at the PA Department of Labor.

I don’t know if you would get anywhere….but it’s a start.

I wish I knew the formula they use to determine your salary. I feel like there should be an annual salary, divided into 52 equal weekly parts—not “pro-rated.”

In retrospect (hindsight is 20/20), I would have opted to start at the beginning of the school year.

It’s no good when a teacher’s salary creates difficulty in paying bills.

Also: how many dependents did you claim on your W-4? If you claimed zero, you would get much less net salary, but a larger refund on your taxes.



Twilightprincess
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04 Jun 2022, 6:56 pm

They don’t count the summer, so I am being paid for 3 months, spread over a 6 month period. Frankly, this situation is ridiculous.

I can’t afford to pay my medical bills. My bank account was overdrawn for over a week.

I claimed one dependent.

I wish I would’ve started at the beginning of next year. There’s more openings than applicants, so I still would’ve been hired.


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Twilightprincess
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04 Jun 2022, 7:08 pm

Parents in my district were complaining about how much teachers get paid. They think we’re making too much. :roll:


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kraftiekortie
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04 Jun 2022, 7:23 pm

I’m sorry you’re in this situation.

I’m sure you’re a dedicated teacher.

You certainly deserve better.



Twilightprincess
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04 Jun 2022, 7:46 pm

Thanks!

I do my best.


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rse92
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06 Jun 2022, 1:36 pm

Are you working for three months rather than six months (through the summer)?

Did you know you would working only three months?

It appears you are getting 50% of the total compensation of a teacher for 50% of a teacher's in school work year. Correct?

If you were anticipating not being paid over the summer, were you not planning to work at another job for the summer? Are you planning to work during the three summer months?

You have a cash flow issue rather than (or maybe in addition to) a total compensation issue. My wife complained about receiving paychecks only nine months a year (teaching in NY) though she received a full year's salary over those nine months plus here benefits over the summer. Most years she taught summer school though the last five years or so she taught she had low enough obligations that she did not have to work.

Is it common or mandated in PA that teachers are paid over twelve months? My brother teaches in PA; I can ask him.



Twilightprincess
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06 Jun 2022, 1:52 pm

They spread out teachers’ pay over a 12 month period here. I’m hesitant to say that I’m not working over the summer because I will be planning and researching curriculums as well as meeting with other special education teachers to discuss and reconfigure our caseloads and schedules. I also need to redo my classroom. It’s a crucial time to ensure that next year runs smoothly. Even though they don’t count this time, I will be working over the summer.

I need some time off, too. I’ve been pushed to my limit this year. I need to start next year refreshed and revitalized.

What I am currently getting is not a livable wage. I was hoping to get out of low income housing this summer, but it’s not possible.


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DeepHour
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07 Jun 2022, 2:08 am

I used to be a teacher in the UK. The starting salary in 1980-81 was around £5600, which was significantly less than what was known as 'the average industrial wage' (when we still had some real industries). Never in my 20-year career did I earn much more than the average national salary, and ended up on around £25,000 in 1999-2000. I think that things improved pay wise over the next couple of decades, but I was too shell shocked to continue in the profession into the new millennium.


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IsabellaLinton
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07 Jun 2022, 2:12 am

Teachers here used to be paid once a month, ten times a year.
It was also a 12 month pay spread over ten months.
Teachers didn't get paid anything in July or August but that pay was spread on the other months.

The summer doesn't count as "working" even if you are "working".
That's expected to be done on teachers' free time without pay.

You likely can't claim unemployment in the summer because of the prorated pay.
It would depend on the terms of your contract.



DeepHour
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07 Jun 2022, 2:24 am

We were paid the same salary for July and August as for the rest of the year, and it was credited to our bank accounts on around 20 July. It doesn't sound to me as if this was a 'prorated' salary, though that's a term I was never previously aware of.


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Twilightprincess
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12 Aug 2022, 8:12 am

Just two more weeks of this awful situation. I'm still feeling kind of bitter about it.


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12 Aug 2022, 10:43 am

My mother was a classroom teacher for years. Many teachers get summer jobs to cover the summer vacation. You didn’t say what country you are in or if the school is public or private. The term “prorated” usually means something like paying for part of a month for phone service if you only sign up part way through a month, or only paying for a cheaper plan for 8 days before you switch to a more expensive plan, then paying for the mote expensive plan for the remaining (30 - 8 = 22) days. So the “rate” is what is payed per unit of time, and the “pro” part literally means “for” as in “provide” or “pro bono”.
As a temp or substitute you might have been payed as a consultant so your paycheck had “nothing taken out” no taxes and no benefits, like your part of paying for medical insurance. The idea is you then pay for those things yourself out of what you were payed. As a special ed teacher you may be payed as an employee so your check has already has those things taken out before you get it, but you may get other benefits like the part of the medical insurance the school pays for. Also, teachers really only work the months that the students are in the classroom so there are two ways they can get payed: they can only get payed for the months they work, so that the checks go down to zero over the summer, or this “prorated” thing that they mentioned off handedly where they take some of your pay away during the months you work and save it for you, then give it to the months you don’t work - this keeps your paycheck from going to zero those summer months. In this case the “rate” is the hourly rate you get payed when you work, and the “pro” part is how it gets spread out over time. This “prorated” situation may have been negotiated by a union.
You might be making more per hour as a special ed teacher or you may not. If you get benefits (like the school paying for part of your medical insurance) you might still be better off in “total compensation” even if you don’t get an better hourly rate. There are things that can happen to “gross” pay before it shows up in your paycheck as “net”. The first thing I would do in your situation is talk to other teachers about your situation, and try to understand your “total compensation” over a 12 month basis as a substitute and as a special ed teacher. Then you need to figure out your “cash flow” and this has more to do with your “net” or “take home” pay. Then decide if you want to keep the special ed job or go back to being a sub.
Some teachers get a second summer job, or take on something like teaching at a summer camp for extra pay to make ends meet. You could ask your boss about things like that where you are.


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Twilightprincess
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12 Aug 2022, 12:23 pm

^^

This situation is related to getting hired as an employee at the end of February instead of at the beginning of the year.

It was a pay-cut of $1,200 per month from what I was making as a sub. I will be getting a normal salary starting in a couple of weeks, which will be nice. I think that I should’ve been paid per month what I’m normally going to be making. I walked into a disaster and had to change everything with no preparation time whatsoever. I worked a lot of 11/12 hour days and, yet, had to borrow money for gas and food from my parents.

I wish I could’ve benefited from having more money over the summer, too. Oh well.


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rse92
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15 Aug 2022, 10:05 am

Twilightprincess wrote:
^^

This situation is related to getting hired as an employee at the end of February instead of at the beginning of the year.

It was a pay-cut of $1,200 per month from what I was making as a sub. I will be getting a normal salary starting in a couple of weeks, which will be nice. I think that I should’ve been paid per month what I’m normally going to be making. I walked into a disaster and had to change everything with no preparation time whatsoever. I worked a lot of 11/12 hour days and, yet, had to borrow money for gas and food from my parents.

I wish I could’ve benefited from having more money over the summer, too. Oh well.


You said "I am getting paid for 3 months work stretched out over 6 months since they don’t include a teacher’s time over the summer". So are you going to get paid three more paychecks this summer on top of the normal salary starting in a couple of weeks?



Twilightprincess
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19 Aug 2022, 8:44 pm

rse92 wrote:
Twilightprincess wrote:
^^

This situation is related to getting hired as an employee at the end of February instead of at the beginning of the year.

It was a pay-cut of $1,200 per month from what I was making as a sub. I will be getting a normal salary starting in a couple of weeks, which will be nice. I think that I should’ve been paid per month what I’m normally going to be making. I walked into a disaster and had to change everything with no preparation time whatsoever. I worked a lot of 11/12 hour days and, yet, had to borrow money for gas and food from my parents.

I wish I could’ve benefited from having more money over the summer, too. Oh well.


You said "I am getting paid for 3 months work stretched out over 6 months since they don’t include a teacher’s time over the summer". So are you going to get paid three more paychecks this summer on top of the normal salary starting in a couple of weeks?


I don't really know what you mean. Starting next Friday I will get a normal teacher's salary, nothing extra. The reduced salary situation will be over since I will be working from the beginning of the coming school year.


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