Teacher Pay Scale Across Canada - Update for 2011


The previous post on Teacher Pay Scale Across Canada lead to a huge discussion and many posts on the worth of teachers, etc. The reason for my post originally wasn't for that discussion - instead I wanted to show the inequality in pay across the provinces. Since the last time I posted, the scales have shifted a bit, many of the links I posted do not work anymore, and some provinces have renegotiated their teaching contracts. For this reason, someone asked me to update the article. So that's what I'm doing in this post.

Here are the teacher salaries in 2011. I'll keep it consistent with the previous article: I'm listing the salary I would have within jurisdictions in Canada that I wouldn't mind moving to - mostly cities. I will do it for a teacher with 8 years experience with a bachelor degree + 2 year teaching degree (this is about what I am). But if you want to check your salary in the given province, the link should point you in the right direction.

Here's the updated table for the salary scale across Canada:


Province Salary Year Link
British Columbia (Vancouver) $73,972 2011 BC's Local Collective Agreements (2006 - 2011)
Alberta (Calgary) $87,954 2011 Alberta Teachers' Association Collective agreements (2006 - 2012)
Saskatchewan $72,435 2010 Saskatchewan Teachers' Federation Collective Agreement (2007 - 2010)
Teachers in Saskatchewan are currently trying to negotiate another contract.
Manitoba (Winnipeg) $76,547 2010 MTS Collective Agreements
Ontario (Toronto) $83,865 2011 OSSTF Collective Agreement (2008 - 2012)
Quebec (Montreal) $52,435 2011 Montreal Teachers' Association Collective Agreement (2010-2011)
New Brunswick $72,536 2011 New Brunswick Teachers' Federation Agreement (2008-2012)
Nova Scotia $59,644 2010 NSTU Collective Agreement (2008-2010)
P.E.I. $64,608 2011 PEI Teachers' Federation Agreement (2010 - 2013)
Newfoundland $69,994 2011 NLTA Collective Agreement (2008-2012)



As you can see from the table, not much has changed since last time I did this comparison (2008). The ranking of the provinces is still similar - Quebec near the bottom of the pack, Alberta near the top. I decided to follow my own advice and move to Alberta (from Quebec). I'm just finishing off the school year and doing a road trip through Canada back to Calgary! I'm pretty psyched - plus there's less tax on top of the pay hike!

Compare teacher salaries to house prices: Teacher Salaries and House Prices in Canadian Cities

Other Teacher Salary Rankings: Canadian Teacher Salary Rankings of Provinces and Territories: prepared by the BC Teacher Federation Research

Also see: Are Teachers Worth the Money?



Further Reading:

Inside Track: Getting Hired to Teach in a Canadian School

Keywords: 
teacher pay scale, salary, salary grid, salary schedule, canada comparison, 2011
Submitted by bogusia on Mon, 05/09/2011 - 20:10

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Calgary teachers get paid a lot more than everyone else. So much, in fact, that they've had to cut jobs to pay for them all.

http://www.cbc.ca/news/canada/calgary/story/2011/05/08/cgy-teachers-rall...

There was a big protest a few days ago to ask for more funding for education, even though Alberta already has the highest per capita in the country.

Are they overpaid?

I would have to say "Yes" Who am I to think they do not deserve a raise. They work hard like all the rest of us do. I do not think they should be striking this time of year. Some professions have been classified as essential services and therefore can not legally strike and I think teachers should fall under the same umbrella. Our children are our future and should not be used as pawns in these silly little games that government and unions continue to play.

Some teachers do deserve the raise others don't. I had a total of 15 teachers in my school out of the 15, only 3 of them prepared me for any kind of work I would be doing in university. I had one teacher that would spend half of his class reading to us from rolling stone magazine, and no this wasn't a music class. Tell me why a teacher that doesn't care about the students and only their paycheck deserves more. Where my parents are living now. one of the teachers called him a retard. Luckily another teacher in the school who I used to go to school with myself suggested we have him tested. We found out that he has dyslexia.

What the rant is about, some teachers who love their job and want to see every student succeed deserve the raise, but the teachers that are only there to collect their paycheck and are putting in time should be paid less. Problem with unions it protects thoes who should maybe not have that job.

There are some teacher's that are wonderful and can be credited for making a student's learning experience valuable and transformational. Those teacher's should be rewarded and recognized for their contributions to our society. I say society because, in the end, the student's that are in our schools, today, will be our leaders of tommorrow.
My children have had some wonderful teacher's, they have also had some horrible teachers. I have volunteered a lot at the school's and there is such a range of committment. The majority of teachers, I found, were actually "öut the door" before the students had even left the property.I also found that many teachers and the schools, more and more,do not want parent's in the classroom. One particular school, I had my children in, had a policy,that, if you wanted to be in the class, you had to give the school 24 hour notice and they would let you know if you could come in. I found this school to be very insular, they did not want parents to even come into the school. It made me worry about what they were afraid of. I tried to work with school council to have positive change in the school because there were definitely problems. Teachers were very abusive sometimes physically but more emotionally even to the children in the grade 3 class. In the end, I removed my children before any more damage was done. I was thankful I had a choice. Many people don't. In this school, I had the Vice-Principal ask my son to read the school act then tell him he didn't know how to read. I saw a teacher scream at a grade 3 student because he didn't eat his lunch, she made him take his sandwich out of the garbage and eat it. I was stunned and went to see the principal the following day,(I did'nt sleep that night) he said oh I don't know what lead up to that. I said nothing should lead up to that, that is child abuse. The little boy was not in school the day I went in. I tried to get the board to investigate some of the issues in the school. I, along, with , a number of other parents, made a presentation to the school board. The school board responded by having the lawyer write a letter saying they would sue me if I didn't retract the letter. I hadn't used any names in the presentation. This particular school board is totally countrolled by the administration and the administration supports the teachers and staff because they have all worked together for 20 or more years. Most of the staff are old and crabby and really don't want to be there any more and they take their frustration out on the students. I also found that if I ever complained about anything, the teachers ended up taking it out on my children.

The teacher's unions MUST start supporting students and parents and stop protecting teachers all all costs. The teachers seem to know that they can pretty well get away with bad behavior and they will not be disciplined in any way. If teachers are to ever be considered credible professionals, with any integrity, they must say to their unions, we have to start getting rid of bad teachers! An evaluation should be mandatory and should include input from students, parents and perhaps a person hired solely for evaluation purposes. When you have one bad teacher, it reflects on all teachers and the entire profession. There are definitely more coffee shop conversations about the bad teachers than the good..so let's get serious about education and clear out the deadwood or bad wood!

do you have any idea what you're talking about? Unions do protect students, to an extent that teacher's are constantly afraid of losing their job over the smallest things, like giving detention to a disruptive student, or talking to a student alone in a room. There are definitely bad teachers out there, but come on, that doesn't justify what you're saying. It is absolutely a shame what happened in that school and nobody deserves that treatment, but you can't compare that to every experience and every teacher, and certainly, there is no need for TEACHER'S unions to stop protecting their own.

You could substitute any other profession for "teacher" and come to about the same conclusion; i.e., engineers, doctors, architects, accountants, etc., all include a range of hard workers to "duds" who are just there for their paycheques. Performance appraisal for pay, as you seem to suggest, is extremely difficult to do accurately and typically degenerates into a popularity/personality driven exercise that has little to do with actual performance. BTW, I'm not a teacher.

Dear Anonymous,

I agree with your points that teachers deserve good pay for their work, and, because teachers do work that is in service to the betterment of society (through public education), strike action should not be allowed. A strike has the potential to cause undue hardship for families, an undue hardship that can outweigh the benefits gained from a strike. And I agree with your sentiment that children are the future (that is, in the most literally sense, true); however, I disagree with your choice of words "silly little games that government and unions continue to play." Regardless of what side of the education coin you are on (Government or a Teacher Federation), the negotiations around the funding of public education is a serious and difficult task. I think that a question that is most central is: Just how much are we, as a society, willing to pay for public education, so that our children may grow into the future in a way that most fulfills their potential and, in turn, creates a happier, most just and sustainable world? My fear is that we are not willing to pay very much; my hope is that this will change.

Regards, Scott

I think the ridiculous thing is that people think funding for education should mean teachers get more money! We need more funding for our students... we need to upgrade our computers and software. We need new textbooks, new class novel sets, money for math manipulatives, refurbished science labs, the list goes on. Sadly when people stirke and want more funding they want it in their pocket..... I live in Quebec, I don't get paid as much as everyone else, but my school needs more funding not me. Would I like a raise? Who the hell wouldn't!!!! everyone wants a raise haha. But if I were told that I could get a thousand dollars a year more or my students could get 65 thousand dollars more (1000 per teacher) I would chose that alternative. For one, my $1000 will be taxed and not come close to that, and what will I use it for? Bills or something I don't need. the $65000 will all go to the students and there are programs schools need investing in so that us teachers can do our jobs more efficiently.

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Sure, we are paid fairly well but our working conditions are difficult. I know for a fact from several teachers from Quebec that we, in Alberta are expected to put in all sorts of after school time. I don't get to walk away when my school day ends. And let's not even talk about the fact that I could by 3 houses in Quebe for the cost of my ordinary bungalow in Calgary! GRRR.

Hi Cheryl,

Yes, I agree that in Alberta teachers have longer hours to teach. For example I know that in most schools in Alberta, teachers either have just one little break during the day to prep or none at all... so all the prepping has to go after hours. In Quebec, there is more time to do the prepping during the day, that's for sure. But the after-school activities are expected everywhere. As a teacher, you should expect to do extracurricular activities, no matter where you live.

But I do disagree with you about the housing. I lived in Montreal then moved to Calgary (just last year) and for the price we sold our house in Montreal we got a similar house here in Calgary... and the house here is closer to downtown. We couldn't buy anything in Montreal when we moved out there... it's just as bad as Calgary. I don't know where this myth comes from about houses being cheaper in Quebec. Maybe out in the boonies, maybe that's where it's cheaper, but if you want to live in the city, the prices are horrendous. Calgary and Edmonton are also bad, but I think all Canadian cities are brutal!

Thanks for the comment!

Hi,

What an eclectic blog, you have a very interested perspective on so many things!

I appreciate your comparison grids for salaries across the nation, and there are certainly some glaring disparities, I was astonished at seeing the Quebec salaries as you posted. You are right, things must change. If it's any consolation, I don't feel alone when considering Quebec and the Maritimes! Thanks for the commiseration!

A small point, regarding the STF salary you mention. The Classification you indicate is probably not correct for your current University background. You are probably in the Class 5 category, step 8 would be $68,329. I am included in the Class 5 category, for instance, with a 4 year B.A. (Advanced Degree, 120 cu) In Arts and Sciences (Drama, English) and a 2 year Post Academic B.Ed. I also have a 4 Year Advanced Certificate in English (120 cu) but that doesn't count for anything other than weighing in on my Accrediation for Senior English. In order to qualify for a Class 6 I would need to complete a Master's degree in addition to my current qualifications.

I just hit my 6th step in Class 5, garnering me a salary of $62,821.

Part of the problem in Saskatchewan might be the availability of Full-time work. Especially in the cities they love their temp and part time assignment protocols! I have been teaching for nearly 15 years, full and part time temporary contracts here and there, some substitute teaching, and while I am probably very close to landing that Full Time Continuing status, I still hang on to my other job, where I am nearing early retirement, until that happy day comes to pass.

Anyway, I thought I would offer that slight clarification!

Cheers, and keep up the Good Work!

Tyler

SK teachers already have other perks that teachers in other provinces don't get. 15 PD days...we get 6. Time off in lieu of extra-curricular...what a novel idea. They might want to compare their current salaries with the average person in Saskatchewan. There's a time and a place to ask for more. I don't have all the facts, I'm sure, but is this really the right time?

I am a Saskatchewan teacher at the top of the grid and I fully supported (as did 95% of us Saskatchewan teachers) the strike. Thanks for writing you don't have all the facts. Here's something you need to know more information about. Time off in lieu of extra curricular would be within a LOCAL agreement, IF teachers were receiving it, it is NOT an item that is negotiated province wide. In our area (Saskatoon) we DO get some time in lieu of sorts in return for our extra-curricular efforts. As of our last link (local) agreement we now receive the TOP UP of one personal day (so 35% of one full day of teaching, roughly $100) for 75 (minimum) hours of extra curricular service, extra curricular defined as providing services to students, with students present (calculates to about $1.25/hour pay). That is a definite show of appreciation for time away from our families.

Doesn't anyone see that if the Sask. Government puts the negotiations off, and tachers choose to strike, they save over 4 million dollars a day. That is what is really going on here.

The actual figure is .5 million per day.

Using horribly rounded and shamelessly estimated figures for convenience, if there are 12,000 teachers and, I don`t know, say an average 320 dollars a day in wages alone saved by the government ... well, that`s more than 0.5 million, closer to 4 million.

Don`t forget to consider additional resources earmarked for Federal programs the Provincial government is not required to contribute to for the three days: EI and CPP. Perhaps minor, shall we estimate an average at something like $18 dollars a day - $54 per teacher for the three days of protest sanctions...at 12,000 teachers that`s still $648,000. To put another perspective on that little figure, it`s way way more than what I`ve earned as a teacher in my entire 14 year career.

And, not to forget, negotiated employer contributions to the STRP, and at about $60 times 12,000 teachers, that`s another $720,000.

So the government is way ahead any way you look at it, blaming it on the teachers and laughing all the way to the bank. There`s something so U.S. corporate about that tactic. And by the way, the provincial government hasn`t provided figures for their scoop of the mill rate yet, nor set any budgets for next year. Waitaminit, maybe they haven`t even set one for this year...they just took the cash and said ``Yah yah, we`ll cover the expenses, don`t worry about it....``

There`s some playground math for you. Who`s lunch money`s in THEIR wallet!

Before the teacher's went on strike in Saskatchewan, I was under the impression that they were poorly paid. I was quite mistaken when I finally looked up what teacher's salaries are. I'm an engineer with an M.Sc. and 15 years experience. I make a little more (not much) than the average engineer in SK with a Master's. The average salary based on the annual survey put out by APEGS for an engineer with an M.Sc. is $95,840. In Alberta, the same education and experience gets an average salary more than $120,000 (based on their salary survey). That's 25% higher.... Don't get me wrong, I'm not complaining, but I can't go to my employer and say "If I move to Alberta, I'd get 25% more, so I want a huge raise!" Actually, I think I make a pretty decent living.

Here's a link to the APEGS salary survey for 2010:
http://www.apegs.sk.ca/adx/aspx/adxGetMedia.aspx?DocID=17,1054,1061,Docu...

Based on the STF salary grid, if I were a teacher with the same level of education and experience (4yr bachelor + master's + 15 yrs exp), I would have made $80,957 last year. That's for 10 months of work, so to compare apples to apples, I'd have to take a 2 month unpaid leave to get 2 months off. My salary would then drop to about $80,000..... now I realize that teacher's don't have a choice about the time off, but that's a perk of being a teacher.... isn't it?

It seems to me that teachers here are doing all right...

Do I think SK teachers are overpaid? No. I know how hard I worked to get to where I am, so I wouldn't begrudge teachers the same opportunity. I just don't like or agree with the tactics of the teacher's union (or any unions today for that matter). Making comparisons to incomes in AB is not a fair comparison. Almost everyone makes 25% more in AB (I know, not everyone, but on average incomes are significantly more)....

That is what you see happening when you are on the outside. The reality is that most teachers will take half of that time off at most. The rest they usually spend planning for the next year, as their curriculum has changed. Not to mention the 1/3 of their weekend through the rest of their year they gave up coaching, or taking the kids on field trips. I only mention the weekends, but many evenings are burnt up also.

People look at the days and hours they have to contractually be there for, and for that time they get paid well, but that is never all the time they spend at the job

As a sister of a teacher in Sk. I know that the first few years are spent planning lesson plans et al, but how is that different from other individuals first starting a job and putting in countless extra hours trying to make a name for themselves. I am so tired of hearing teacher's "poor me" rhetoric. In my opinion teachers, like no other profession,R have a sense of entitlement all the while losing public support. Haven't you noticed or felt the wave of hostility from parents when contract negations are taking place and the lack of support from the public? You knew going into this profession what was expected, so quit whining about your extra hours and save it for your time off at Easter, Christmas and summer break -ENJOY!!

Wow... You must not be that close to your sister if you truly believe she only worked long hours planning and preparing lessons her first few years... In my first 10 years as a teacher I have seen the curriculums change three times( which means creating new units for each subject in each grade level you teach), an increase in the provinces expectations in testing with new AFL assessments in both math and language arts 2-3 times a year, and all this without any resources like textbooks. Saskatchewan believes in resource-based learning ( which I believe is very effective for those of us who adapt our teaching to best meet the needs of our students rather than rely on a textbook that is written at a much too high a reading level) however, teachers must find their own resources to supplement each unit in each subject out of our own pockets. We do not get reimbursed for this, nor do we get a tax write off for the materials we purchase for our classrooms. Now name another profession in which you have to buy your own materials to complete a job without reimbursement or some sort of a tax credit.

That's great that you feel you need to be a martyr. I'm a parent with 2 kids in elementary school, and if my kids teachers need anything for the classroom that is not supplied, I'd be more than happy to pay for it with the other parents. When you say "teachers must find their own resources to supplement each unit in each subject out of our own pockets", I don't understand what you mean.... What resources? Why are they not covered? Why wouldn't you ask the students' parents to pay for it?

Also, if you were required to purchase anything to earn income, it is tax deductible... This is from the Revenue Canada website:

"You can deduct certain expenses (including any GST/HST) you paid to earn employment income. You can do this only if your employment contract required you to pay the expenses and you did not receive an allowance for them, or the allowance you received is included in your income."

That sounds pretty clear cut to me... if your teaching contract requires you to have the material to teach... it's tax deductible. If you can't deduct it, then you're not "required" to make the purchases..... So the question becomes, if you are not "required" to make the purchases and you do anyway, why are you complaining about it?

Unfortunately, not all parents are as generous and have the income to help pay for resources like you do, I would love to send my children to the school your children go to. The teachers my children go to have been very generous, one helped me pay for a school trip my child couldn't go to because of economic reasons so that he wouldn't be left out. As a parent I support the teachers and if I can get to a place where I can donate a significant amount of money, I'll definitley be giving it back to the schools. Schools don't always have enough money, and many teachers do spend their personal money on the classroom, be appreciative of that and if you can't you need to speak with administration to find out how the money is being used.

At my old school, in Regina the teachers didn't even understand what they were teaching. I'd have more respect for their trying if I hadn't had to fight them to leave the parking lot first. I had one teacher that could be considered"competent" in my four years. Teachers sit on their computers and facebook eachother all day (yes, this is a fact). I wrote one essay (a whopping 2 page double-spaced) so you can imagine how prepared I was for post-secondary. I can name 10 great role models from my high school staff, only 1 was a teacher. I'm sure there are many amazing teachers (mostly in elementary schools) but I can name far too many that should be fired. You could easily have checked have checked the benefits and downfalls of your job (everyone else does), can you name me another job that gets 2 months guranteed vacation? A job that you buy your own supplies for? I've never seen a school that didn't have unlimited amounts of supplies to help teachers (not that they use them). You may be the one exception to this, but I've seen far too many bad teachers to even consider them getting raises.

It is sad to hear stories like these, where teachers are so "useless". I know the type of teacher you are talking about, but I don't think all teachers are like this. Therefore it is hard to unilaterally just give the same salary to all teachers. It would be so intuitive to give varying salaries to different teachers based on their teaching abilities and commitment. However, this is very very hard to measure... who will decide which teacher is the "good" teacher and which teacher is useless? I have struggled with this question for as long as I've been a teacher myself. Thanks for the comment!

You sound very ill-informed. Firstly, teachers are always planning and creating new resources, not only in the first few years. This needs to happen so that lessons stay relevant to the students. It's actually a positive thing I find about teaching: it's quite a lot of work, but you're always learning and growing. I don't know what 'other individuals' you're referring to in terms of making a name for oneself in a job, but I don't think that teachers think they are different or more special than anyone else. The point is that a lot of teachers feel that not enough value is placed on the future of our youth. We care about the funds that go towards educating students who will be our future, and I think that teachers should be paid fairly for the responsibility they take on, and that schools should be equipped as best as possible to support productive learning. Where I teach in Western Australia, teachers get paid adequately but not well. If you go to the mines you can get paid more than twice as much than a teacher for unskilled labour requiring no education. My husband and I are both teachers and we do it because we love teaching and we love the students. We still worry though because if we want to have children of our own, it will be very difficult with the amount of money coming in from one teacher's salary. It's sort of ignorant to group all of us together as whining or complaining, and also quite predictable to refer to the holidays. Admittedly, the breaks are great, and I really appreciate them. But talk to a lot of teachers and you'll find that they spend a lot of the break time planning and marking, which can be a comfort to be able to do at home. Teachers need the breaks; Talk to anyone who spends every day with big groups of kids with varying learning abilities, emotional issues, behaviour problems and situations involving broken homes, drugs, abuse, pressure and neglect. In my experience, parents want excellent teachers, but to help the kids, the support needs to come from the school as well as the home and the society we live in. I have never experienced hostility from a supportive, informed parent.

You can not compare working in a mine with sitting in an air conditioned classroom.

I've read many posts from teachers telling everyone how we need to be informed of the "facts" about how many hours a teacher works.... Well after reading many of these posts, I think that there are many teachers that need to educate themselves on what the requirements are for being a professional. I don't know anyone that I consider a professional that only works 8:00-4:00 Mon-Fri. While I do agree that teaching is a profession, everything you've mentioned is the level of commitment a professional requires... pay or no pay. I've had to do work and attend meetings while "on vacation".

And your comment "Not to mention the 1/3 of their weekend through the rest of their year they gave up coaching, or taking the kids on field trips" is a wild exaggeration at the least and is not even close to the norm.... exactly what sports and field trips are the kids involved in that would require a teachers involvement every weekend for 10 months?

Personally, I plan my income, whatever the sources, for the whole year. All the jobs I`ve ever had paid me after I completed the work, which is fine with me, I don`t have an outlay like some businesses might, where you have to rent equipment, buy materials, or hire people. But, as far as teaching goes, I get paid at the end of June, and then again at the end of September. Three months. But I know that going in, so I budget and plan, and since I have another job I just work within the parameters.

If you work full time, you work full time. Maybe some people get paid hgh annually, or every second week - whatever the case may be I agree with you entirely - budget, plan, accommodate whatever it is you need to do. If you need more, work more. If you can`t work more, then, well, need less!

Just curious; what kind of hours do you work? How many weeks of vacation do you take?
What are the perks of being in your profession?
FYI,there are very few teachers that take the summer off; preparing for a new school year and keeping up with curriculum updates and programming is huge and has to happen in that 2 month window. The other breaks that come at Christmas and Easter are rarely work free as new units have to prepared, and are also filled with many hours of marking and assessment.
I love my profession and just want to receive a fair deal. If you check the facts and realize how many times teachers have taken minimal (0 to 2%) increases, you might agree that it is our turn to get a larger piece of the pie.
I hope you can credit a teacher(s)with going the extra mile in helping you to get where you are today. What was he/she worth to you? To our province?
Sincerely,
bfischer

The hours I work vary drastically. Anywhere from 45-70 hrs per week depending on workload and my job requires that I could be away from home up to a week at a time. My salary is based on 40 hrs per week and 3 weeks vacation. I understand that many teachers put in extra hours and that prep for classes and marking is required. However, as with any profession, with experience should come better efficiency. So I'd assume that a teacher in their first year teaching would take much longer to prepare and mark than a teacher with 10-15 years experience. Engineering is the same way.... the pay at first is usually not so great, and the hours can be long (especially in consulting practise). There are defintely perks to being in engineering, however, job satisfaction being the main one.

But every teacher makes a choice to put in the extra hours... and it's great that they do. Every profession is required to stay on top of their field which almost always means working evenings and weekends without pay. Engineering conferences and short courses almost always require weekends and travel (without pay).

Anyone who has ever volunteered for their community association or coaching does much of the same type of extra work for the betterment of our communities and our society as a whole (and I've done plenty). All I can say is that if you think it's too much then don't do it.... Doing it and then complaining that you're not appreciated is just pointless.

The attitude of "it is our turn to get a larger piece of the pie" is exactly what hurts the teachers case..... I just don't agree that a 12 or 16% pay increase is justified.

I would love to see you try to get a paycheck at the end of June, then not see another cheque until the end of September. It is not a 2 month "holiday" as so many people like to point out... Most people get paid for holidays. Teachers do not. We get paid for working 197 days, and many teacher's salaries fluctuate month to month as they get paid for the number of teaching days in that month. So those so called "holidays" are more like a lay-off. That is why so many teachers have to get a second job, at least in the summer, to help pay the bills. I like to see an engineer who needs a second job...

Give me a break.... it's called financial planning.... everyone has to do it. My wife is self-employed (she formerly was an engineer) and doesn't get any paid vacation or health benefits. If we want a vacation she loses income.... we have to plan for it. She chose to do this, so she's not complaining about it (and neither am I), it's a fact of life.

Everyone knows when the school year ends... don't they? A teacher's salary (if you're working full-time) is laid out. How they decide to spend the money is their prerogative. If they don't have enough to get them through the summer and need to take additional work, that's their prerogative as well. If a teacher makes $60,000/yr but spends money for 10 months of the year as if they make $72,000/yr, who's to blame? The government?

And why would there be 3 months between paycheques? Just curious, are teachers paid over 9 months?

Personally, I plan my income, whatever the sources, for the whole year. All the jobs I`ve ever had paid me after I completed the work, which is fine with me, I don`t have an outlay like some businesses might, where you have to rent equipment, buy materials, or hire people. But, as far as teaching goes, I get paid at the end of June, and then again at the end of September. Three months. But I know that going in, so I budget and plan, and since I have another job I just work within the parameters.

If you work full time, you work full time. Maybe some people get paid annually, or every second week - whatever the case may be I agree with you entirely - budget, plan, accommodate whatever it is you need to do. If you need more, work more. If you can`t work more, then, well, need less!

If that's your only problem, your bank can put some of your money aside when you're working, and give it back when you're not.

There's no shame in being a poor financial planner, most banks have people who can help you.

Another alternative is to line up a summer job.

I appreciate your perspective, but you may be comparing, well, different kinds of apples at any rate. Perhaps Spartan with Gala or something along those lines. Permit me to coordinate and perhaps enhance some of your data.
The majority of teachers in Saskatchewan are Class 4, rather than Class 6. A relatively recent Government of Saskatchewan publication (2009 Saskatchewan Education Indicators Report - the link is ridiculously long, but Google should find that title for you easily enough) provides some numbers, with Class 4 comprising about 60% of all teachers. Although some of the source data was from slightly different years, the numerical breakdown stated in the document was:
Class 4: 6,711 teachers
Class 5: 3,567 teachers
Class 6: 798 teachers
In order to hold a Class 6 today I would have to hold my BA Advanced (4 years), my B. Ed After Degree (2 years), AND a Master's (Let's say 2 years in a perfect world). That's 8 years. At one time a single year of Grad studies was enough, but no longer, you have to have the completed Master’s degree. Very few teachers make it to that level, and not many even go to a Class 5. I am currently a Class 5, and the likelihood of taking a couple of years off to get a Master's becomes vanishingly small when I consider the expenses and loss of income involved, and no doubt many people who take time off from work to raise kids can relate to that particular equation. In this instance of educational advancement, it would take many years to recoup any benefits I might gain in eventual salary increases. And in today’s budget-driven world a Class 6 might actually price me out of the job market if I don't already have a permanent contract.
After 15 years my Class 5 will garner me $76,593 according to the current CBA (a Class 4 would make $73,036, while as you say a Class 6 would make $80,957 - not a lot of difference). That is assuming Full Time work, which is another barrel of fruit altogether, where in Saskatoon for instance there are more than 400 teachers on the substitute teacher list hoping for unpredictable hours, part-time or temporary contracts, or the rare bestowment of a permanent contract. Right now I am fortunate to have hit the 6th step, based on sub days and both full and part-time contracts, for remuneration of $62,821 per year. I have been teaching for about 14 years, and yes I have moved a couple of times to and from rural Saskatchewan following the contract trail. So, while it is my fervent hope to land the Full-Time Continuing contract one of these days, I have to recognize that I have been luckier than many in garnering the contract hours I have had so far, and the projected time frame for me to hit the max in my classification could be another 18 years, not just the 9 you might think at first glance. Fitting in a Master's would be problematic at best, and hardly worth it financially. I am not at all up on the costs of University education, but if we cast a ballpark dollar figure for tuition, books, and cost of living at $30,000 a year, which might well be a low estimate, I will never - never - recoup my expenses during the course of my remaining career. Let's take a look at these numbers:
Suppose I land that PFT contract next week, and (somehow) took an approved Educational leave. On my return in 2 years following a successful Master's bid, I would spend most of the following decade reaching the 15 year mark (remember I just recently reached the 6th step). After that 15th year step has had a year under the belt that would make $24,897 more earned over that time period than I would have made as a Class 5. Presuming that $60K figure for the two years Master's degree, that would leave me with another $35,103 to recover. With the difference between a Class 5 and Class 6 at that point being 4,364 that would make another 8 years and change before I recovered those costs. And let's not forget these are Gross salary figures dealing with cash on the barrel costs. Maybe some of that could be considered as offset by any contract increases for argument's sake, but certainly not all.
Once you include family financial management into the mix, which might include daycare, and also consider the impact of losing two years of pensionable earnings, or absence of health insurance, drug plans, even reflections on credit ratings whilst a student you have a pretty challenging scenario with long-term ramifications for anyone thinking about getting that Class 6.
Sadly it is very unlikely that I will seriously consider pursuing a Master's degree just to get that Class 6, and the vast majority of teachers will never see that max you identified from the salary grid. The numbers don’t lie – a mere 7.2% of teachers hold a Class 6, according to the government statistics in the 2009 publication. That’s 7.2% of teachers who have the potential to reach that high-end $80,957 mark. Not all of those have even made the 15 year mark yet.
If you're still with me, let's take a look at those apples again, shall we? I like your 2 months off concept, by the way, if only I had the luxury of doing that, making 62K gross intermittently doesn`t really let me do that though.... And being done on June 30th and going back August 25th, not counting the Professional Development on August 23rd doesn`t quite make 2 months, but I don`t want to quibble about the number of days too much.
However, I guess one question might be, how many paid holidays does any professional or other unionized worker, really, get per year as part of your employment? What entitlements does your employer provide? I know at my other job after 15 years and based on something like years of full time equivalent hours I get 5 weeks paid vacation. After 25 years it goes up to 6 weeks. Perhaps your rate is something like that. Some people get 7 weeks, but they`ve been working longer. As a teacher I get no paid holidays per year, no matter how long I work. I get paid no overtime, ever. I get paid no bonuses or dividends, ever. It doesn`t even matter if I get my Master`s, really, all it does is bump my annual salary up, about 320 dollars a month to start. Shall I say Whoopee? If I supervise during my unpaid lunch hour or other unpaid times I can take time off from work instead of taking the pay. A lot has been made of that in some media discussion, but I point out it takes a whole whack of supervision to take one day off when you`re accruing half hour increments.
So, all things being equal, let`s compare them apples. I`ll even use my other job as an example, and you can compare with your own job since I don`t know your own particulars.
At my other job, and this is the same for many of the thousands who work for the same employer, I start with 52 weeks per year, at 5 work days per week that is 260 days. 5 weeks of holidays makes it 235 days. Take off the dozen Stat holidays (also paid) and you have 223 days of work. We also have a bank day off every three weeks, about 17 per year, taking it down to 206. As a teacher there are about 200 teaching days over the course of the school year. Some Professional Development thrown into the mix and there is very little difference in the days per year worked. In fact, at my other job, if I have the opportunity to work overtime it isn`t all that hard to reach the same earnings level as I do if I teach full time. If I work overtime there, I can bank the time at 2X, so for every overtime day worked I can take two scheduled days off with pay. Now, I can`t do both jobs of course, but if I work full time over the 7 weeks I have off during the summer and luck into significant overtime I might be able to come close to that $80K mark you mentioned earlier. I would have to work full-time as well as an additional $12, 000 of overtime to do that, on my “time off” – 100+ hour weeks! Or, during the school year I could work 112 8 hour shifts on weekends, but wait, there are only 90 weekend days during the school year. You get the point, maybe, that there is a bit of a difference between my 62K and the “Holy Grail” of that $80,957 that I’ll never reach anyway.
Last thing, and I’m sorry for taking so long here, but this has turned into an interesting sojourn. Government implications about Saskatchewan teacher salaries seem predicated on the same percentile statistics you brought up. I had a reasonable look through the salary schedules you so kindly provided, and while there are many classifications and types I can’t help but notice that the top salaries command in the neighbourhood of a quarter of a million dollars per year. That’s of course indicating the 95th percentile – close to the 7.2% of teachers that make the top salary we have - $80,957. We don’t have anything like that! Over the past four years the increase to your average salaries is indicated as being 22.4%, or an average of 5.6% per year. No doubt it is more complicated than those bald figures, but I can tell you solemnly right now teachers in Saskatchewan would likely be happy to accept percentages like that!
I agree with your statement about asking for the 25% raise just because you would get paid more if you moved to Alberta. In my case it would be closer to a 50% raise in many places, from Thunder Bay to Vancouver, but still, I see your point. Yet I wonder what the scenario was in 1989 when the average salaries for engineers increased by 27.6%? Maybe the gap in earnings between Saskatchewan engineers and your colleagues elsewhere was getting too great, and there was an equalization of sorts. Perhaps there was a period of great economic prosperity in the province. Maybe that is the scenario teachers in Saskatchewan are facing today, 20 years or so later than the engineers. In any event, if I were making $95K with my Master’s and with the potential to push that up another $100K or so, I might not complain either, even if my counterparts a few hundred kilometers away were making 25% more. And let me be clear, and I’m stepping on some toes here on both sides of this fence maybe, but God Bless engineers for doing everything they do, you can’t look anywhere without seeing the evidence of incredible things, fundamentals that to earlier people would seem like magic. The effects are everywhere, and I say engineers are worth every penny. If not for engineers I would be ”a hewer of wood and drawer of water” – and even THAT is thanks to the mind of an engineer at heart from the distant past. And yet, is not the effect of the teacher’s trade similarly evident everywhere we look? What, after all, is at the foundation of every society if not learning? We seek some modicum of financial remuneration, to be sure, but more than that, and perhaps more valuable than the coin the government choose to focus on, we seek an affirmation of the intrinsic worth and value of teachers in our society.

don't forget xmas and sprng brake holidays. make that 3 months of holidays

You cannot compare engineers to teachers.... That's like comparing apples to oranges!

As an educator, please allow me to educate you a little more.... Teachers don't get paid in the summer for doing nothing. We get paid for ten months of work, but most schools and teachers have elected that instead of getting a check for only 10 months of the year they take the salary and divide it out over a twelve month period. Plus most teachers don't take the summer off.... A lot do courses/professional development over the summer... others may use the time to do long range and unit plans for the upcoming year (some schools have very high expectations for how planning should be done, and every couple of years the curriculum is changed). As for those that do just relax, they have definitely earned it for having no social life for 10 months of the year. As a dedicated teacher I get to work at 7 a.m. in time to get some things done to be ready for the day. Then I teach 25 nine year olds from 9:00-4:00. A teacher's work is never done, so I usually spend 4:00 - 7:00 marking, planning, preparing, etc. And, I have been known to be leaving at 10PM some nights. EVERY NIGHT I also bring home bags of marking or other prep work to do. Rarely do I get to bed by Midnight. AND unlike most jobs that would get paid overtime for those extra hours I DON'T. I choose to put in all the extra effort without a penny. Oh, but you may think I get weekends now.... WRONG! I do make an effort to take Saturday off, but Sunday's I'm back at the school planning for the upcoming week. Oh, but then there's also extra curricular (again solely volunteer) after school and on weekends throughout the year. A TEACHERS WORK IS NEVER DONE! How often does an engineer come home with homework to do? Please educate me on that....

Don't get me wrong I'm happy with what I make and I enjoy what I do. However what makes me angry is when others outside the profession are so ignorant as to judge that we have it easy because we have 2 months off. Most of us dedicated teachers have darn well earned them! I would NOT be exaggerating saying that I put in an extra 40 hours a week AT LEAST without pay. I think that's more than enough to make up for the 2 months off. And if it makes you feel better our summers are getting shorter. This year we finish the very end of June and begin again Mid-August. Technically speaking that's 1.5 months.

Ignorance = speaking on a subject in which you have no idea what you are talking about.

Great comment, thank you for this! As a fellow teacher I'm glad that you wrote this so that people can have a more accurate perspective.

Hate to break this to you but teachers are no more special than anyone. You make your career what it is. Some teachers are slackers some teachers are workaholics. I grew up in a family full of teachers (both my parents were, aunts, cousins, etc..) all had different work ethics. I would like to call you on what you wrote. Saying that you put in an extra 40 hours per week is ridiculous and you know it. I can agree that every once in awhile there is a rush and things get hectic but come on....sustaining 80 hour work week continuously is impossible, no matter what you do in life. So be realistic and stop exaggerating to try and get a pity party going on for you. You are no more special than anyone else. Get over yourself.

if you look a little further into other provinces wages you will find that pretty much all the provinces that are higher than sasks are all negotiated regionally and sask is negotiated provincially so if a teacher in toronto makes 83000 a teacher in a rural ontario town probably makes less than a sask teacher so if you are a sask teacher and want to make what a teacher in toronto does move to toronto then bonehead. but if you want to make more money in saskatchewan move to one of our many smaller centers that have much lower cost of living than toronto, calgary, or even saskatoon so quit complaining and get to work and if you choose not to there are a lot of U of S and U of R teaching grads who are unable to find permanent work and im sure they would fill your spot

Great blog - this needs to be advertised to get more public input and discussion. My first comment is that those poor teachers in Quebec certainly are very underpaid. Why don't we hear about this sort of thing outside of Quebec? All we hear in the R.O.C. is how much more "advanced" they are with social programs like daycare, etc. - yet it is clear that there is a price to be paid for it. Either public employees are paid less, taxes go up, or they are expected to do more with less staff.

I understand the argument on both sides. But, teachers need to understand that if they raise their employment costs higher than can be maintained by taxes, something has to give.

One option is to raise taxes to pay for it. Another is to reduce services or support staff, and another is to reduce the number of teachers and increase class sizes.
One thing that is not being compared here is class sizes - is there a difference in class sizes as well as with the pay scale?

It is clear that teachers and former students both agree that there are good and bad teachers, just like any other occupation. I still remember some of the great teachers I had in school, but I also remember some of the bad ones. There were several bad ones that took me years to get over. They did more damage than the good ones could repair.
This is the issue. While a good teacher can be a very positive influence on a young mind and body, a bad one can cause years of greif to the students, parents and possibly other teachers.

The teachers union has to address this, but ocntinues to hide the issue, or worse, defends the bad teacher to the limit.
If the teachers and their union are truely focused on the children as they claim, then they have to show it by backing the firing of poor performance, and outright banning of teachers who get emotionally or physically involved with their students.

As for the hours of "unpaid" work - my wife and I decided that once we had kids in school, she would stay home to help with school and be there for them for lunch, etc. During this time she spent litteraly thousands of hours voluteering at school at no pay. She was there more than some of the teachers. She worked extra hours at night making costumes for plays, etc. During the same time, I was involved in the home & school & community association. I spent many long evenings working for nothing, but making the effort because it was for the kids.
So when teachers make a big deal out of the "extra time" they spend volunteering, many parents don't see what the big deal is, as they are also spending many unpaid hours, often at the same events.
We made big sacrifices, esepecially when we saw other couples where both worked full time with the newer cars and nicer houses, but we felt that a feeling of security and support for the kids is more important than a newer car or a winter vacation. Don't get me wrong, we never wanted for anything important (food, heat, clothing,etc), but we learned to put the kids and their needs ahead of our own. And, we certainly learned how to budget!

Then, in my own childrens school we find a teacher who is getting 'too familiar' with some of the junior high girls, and the teachers union was prepared to fight for this guy. Even when it came out that this was not the first time, that he was transfered from another school for the same reason, they were still willing to defend him.

So, if the teachers union is serious about putting the kids first. like they constantly advertise, then they should make a public statement that says;

- we support the idea of merit for pay. Poor teaching performance will not be tolerated.

- we support the children first. If a teacher is responsible for taking advantage of someone they have a position of authority over, they will be banned from teaching.

Until something is done to dislodge the "coasters" and minimum effort teachers, and "touchy feely" teachers are dealt with swiftly and immediately, the public support for teachers will be luke warm at best.

Thanks for your comment. You raise some interesting issues.

First, you suggest an interesting comparison: class sizes amongst schools around Canada. Maybe I'll try to research this and see how this compares to salaries... very interesting. But I know that in Quebec the money for Education goes to bureaucracy, i.e. non-teachers: for instance I heard a rumor (and I'll look this one up for sure) that for every teacher in Quebec there are four bureaucrats (the highest in North America - again just something somebody said, don't quote me on this - I'll look it up for sure and post it). So it's not just class sizes to consider, but also other things like wasteful spending.

Second, I think your point about evaluating teachers is an extremely important, yet difficult task... I have been tackling with this dilemma forever! Obviously it makes sense to reward good teachers and not the other kind (and yes, just like any profession, there are bad teachers also), but how exactly do we evaluate teachers? Do we do it by standardized testing, like in the US (terrible results if you ask me)? By student/parent evaluations (how can a parent actually evaluate a teacher if they aren't even in the classroom, how can a student evaluate a teacher, really...)? Up to now I have not thought of a good way to do this. I was doing my Masters in Educational Psychology for the last few years, and this issue comes up numerous times (without a good answer). It is more of a complex issue than one might think. Maybe I'll write a post on that also.

Thanks for your heartfelt comment and great ideas!

I have been teaching many years and I know how much extra time most teachers spend outside of classroom time doing unpaid tasks. I highly commend you and your wife for all of the extra time spent on putting your children first.

I have to disagree with you about several points.

a) It is not Unions, but governments that are not putting kids first. The money has
be there for schools to properly operate. Class sizes must be reasonable.

b) Teacher salaries must double in order to attract skilled and talented people.

c) Teachers have worked hard to get to where they are. It takes alot of effort and
skill to pass the grades and university courses.

d) Who is going to support the teacher. The best schools have parents, students,
school boards and staff with positive attitudes.

e) Perhaps schools should be privatized. Parents that can't pay or students that
can't behave must be or should be excluded from an education. Then teaching
would become very Professional.

f) Pay for merit does not encourage young students graduating from grade 12 to enter
the teaching profession. You could find that would be no teachers for hire.

g) Yes, support the children first. Positive support is the key to success. If
parents tell their children that they are going to a great place each and every
morning, their children's attitude towards school will be enhanced. Children
tend to reflect the ways of society. Do you think that we live in a healthy
society?

h) It is not easy to coast when there is a classroom full of children looking at you.

i) The greater the class size, the greater incidents of misbehavior and down time
(time off task).

j) Treat people with respect and kindness no matter who they are and the way you
like to be treated.

I do agree with you that salaries are way too high in some provinces in Canada. On the other hand, do we value education more or less in our belle province if compared to the rest of Canada. When I started to teach in 1991 it was hard to find a teaching job in Quebec. I chose to stay here because of family, although I received calls to work in Calgary and Vancouver. I do have regrets because they are richer provinces and they value teaching and teachers. You speak of poor teaching performance... lets speak of poor system performance and lack of parenting involvement. First, a poor performing teacher is put through constant evaluations during their teaching and when performance is not up to standard they are required to review their methods and are frequently observed in class. I feel that the Quebec is the most mismanaged system where teachers are required to teach without any formal training, children with learning disabilities. Furthermore, they provide very little support for the students with special needs. To this we add the prorate of services. I taught in English School Boards-they seem to suffer the most because of the decreasing clientele.

You also mention that there is work brought home. How many jobs unless personal business requires you to bring work home? You have to prepare for your class (knowing your subject inside out), manage behaviour(learning disabilities) and teaching and reaching out to everyone with their own learning pace. Really, parents complain that school provides them with a break from their kids. Try being in classrooms of 30 or oversized classrooms of 40 grade 10 or 11 students coded behavioural or learning disability.
I worked in the field for over 10 years and stopped to care for my children. Especially, that my son has a learning disability. I witnessed his teacher's frustration in trying to deal with his disability and his antics that result from his inability to comprehend what is going on, why is he stupider and slower than the others. We were able to diagnose my son with a particular learning disability with a cost of 1,600.00 in a private office. Now had we waited-let me rephrase...had we patiently waited for financial reasons for the government to evaluate our child, well he would have been dumped in a regular class and left to fend on his own while on a waiting list to be assessed.
How many single mothers or parents who do not have the money for these evaluations have to see their child treated like a ''RETARD''. Speaking from a teacher and mother point of view I truly see how the Quebec system is poorly run at the school board levels and the MEQ plans. I find it very unfortunate that some individuals or director generals leave with lovely retirement packages as if they worked for big firms. While some students suffer in anguish waiting to be helped and provided with the necessary aid from an ailing system that was meant to provide it to them. Some parents leave everything to the teachers or blame too quickly the teacher for any difficulty their child has. I have been on both sides of the fence and see that some parents invest little time with their children to help them with their work after school. Parents cannot and should not rely on the system or the school to aid their child. In short, parents should be very involved with their children's school and after school work. Just as your wife has done. I urge parents to speak to the parents who represent them and have that individual bring up grievances in a diplomatic tone. I have witnessed firsthand parents who come to school wanting to settle an issue the wrong way. Not all parents are equal and not all children are. Our educational system in Quebec is the poorest and the most ailing as our medical system.

You also spoke of a teacher who was getting too familiar with junior girls I have never witnessed that. I do believe it exists and yes they are simply transferred as are students caught selling drugs or using it. We were told that is the way things were done. In addition, I knew of an elementary janitor who was accused of being a pedophile as usual the hush hush and transfer to another school is the frequent option. Do we not reintegrate pedophiles in our society who live near families and schools. However the lukewarm attitude toward teachers that you mention seems to be generalized. There are feely touchy teachers, there are feely touchy principles etc. When a certain line is crossed then prompt action should be taken. Finally, in all fields there is the incompetent and the grossly incompetent (touchy feely...). There is not any denying. If I were a parent I would be present at school make truly sure that the children’s claims are valid because they are children. You may find great support and confirmation from best people to witness this behaviour firsthand- teachers who will support you and will confirm as I am sure they also care about the school children and the school’s reputation.
Teacher

Are we (I say we because I am a teacher) worth it? Are the children worth it? Maybe that's another question some people should ask themselves. I think without a doubt, the answer is "Yes, you bet!" in both situations. That said, I do believe that teachers need to be careful of what we are asking. Is it too much? Too much...what does that mean? I'm not really sure.

But, when I have seen thousands of people being laid off in my province of Ontario, or Saskatchewan farmers with farm land they are unable to farm due to flooding and many other unable to make ends meet because of the recession, I have to wonder. When the number of people needing to rely on food banks just so they can feed their families has gone up at such a steep rate, I have to wonder. At these difficult times, by striking and demanding such high pay increases, like 16%, how are we affecting society over all?

How does this make teachers look to the non-teaching community when many teachers are already paid more than other people in the community? I have heard the word "greedy" a few times. How do they feel when we are asking for more, when we can survive off of our salaries,and many people are having to move in with family members or lose their home because they can no longer pay their mortgage? Or no longer have a job?

How can I go to school each day knowing that I'm asking for so much more when several of my students wouldn't have had breakfast if the school didn't provide it? Or when a child wears the same shirt and pants all week because their other shirt and pants are still dirty because mom doesn't have the money to go to the laundromat? Or when my students are so happy to get a box of crayons and some paper to take home because they can't afford to buy it? Or when a child says, "I can't go on the field trip because my mom doesn't have $8 to pay for it?" I'm not saying that we should be martyrs. Yes, we need to look after ourselves, too. But given the times, how much is too much? If times were better, I can see us asking, but right now, I just wonder.

The automotive industries demanded higher and higher wages and benefits, at a time when it couldn't be afforded, until the companies could no longer support themselves. Many of the same employees who demanded higher wages one month were without a job months later. I'm not saying that was the only reason for the problems with the automotive industry, but it's something to think about. Was it too much?

Maybe some of the 'raise' money could be used to service the children during these times. Rather than giving a big raise, maybe the money could be used towards more books, Smartboards, programs for children with special needs, extra EA support or programs to help meet the needs of students who need more individualized programs. I don't know, it's just a thought.

I am not in any way claiming to know it all. Nor am I saying that teachers aren't worth it.

I believe teachers are worth every bit. Why...because we believe our students are worth every bit of time and effort and care that we put into them. I'm just wondering if there's a time to push for more and a time to think of the bigger picture.

This is an incredibly intelligent comment and I'm so glad to hear there are some educators out there who still think this way and are concerned for both their classroom and society as a whole.

Yes, Teachers are integral to society. Yes, most do an incredible service for our children, and yes most work very hard. However, I am astonished to see close to $90,000 per annum for a teacher in Alberta and many are STILL NOT HAPPY??! When does this stop? It's beginning to look like teachers aren't in it for the kids at all, but just in it to get a long summer holiday, no weekends, and a fancy new car.

The fact of the matter is that Education is a public service. The government only has so much money. If you don't like that fact, get out of the public sector. I'd like to see some of these young teachers survive in the private sector where yes you have the ability to earn unlimited income, but you also start out VERY LOW. For example, an entry level position in the Finance industry can be as low as $30,000 per annum. That graduate also spent at least 4 years getting a Bachelors Degree, and sometimes more. So do they merit $70,000 as a starting salary as well? The simple answer is no, because the private sector realises that you have to EARN your wage, and prove your worth to your profession, beyond simply educating yourself. I can think of many teachers who deserve much more than they are paid, but I can also think of many who deserve half and are there for all the wrong reasons.

I 100% agree with needing more money put towards reducing class sizes, providing teachers with valuable resources, and ensuring our children are learning from the best and in a safe environment. These insane demands for raises to take teachers far and above what is already a more than livable wage are simply taking resources from the children and putting them in the teachers pockets. If you really care about your students and their wellbeing you'd be more than happy to keep your very reasonable pay and allocate more to the classroom.

Now I know there are a lot of teachers out there who do feel this way and I applaud them. I could never do what a good teacher does and I am so thankful that there are people out there willing to help provide for my childs education. What I don't stand for however is greed, especially in these tough times. You are not the only ones who are educated. You are not the only ones who do a service for this community.

If you don't like it, you're in the wrong profession.

Funny I didn`t notice it before, but sometimes I can`t see the forest for the trees, or my glasses sitting on top of my head :)

The Saskatchewan Teacher`s Salary you quote for 8th step is actually the 8th step for a Class 6. The four year BA and 2 year Ed degree you hold would place you at Class 5, which has an 8th Step of $68,329. I`ll get there in another 2 years, if I happen to get full time hours. In order to be at the $72,435 you mention you would have to hold a completed Master`s Degree in addition to your current qualifications.

I don`t know if the chart you have is all for Class 6 and equivalent, or if it was a single shifted reference point, but last statistics I looked at (2009 I think) 7.2% of Saskatchewan teachers were at a Class 6 level, so that might not be the target group you are looking to for comparison purposes. More than 60% of Saskatchewan teachers are at a Class 4 level, which at Step 8 garners $ 64,979. About 32% of Saskatchewan teachers hold a Class 5.

As a point of interest, the Post Academic Program at the University of Saskatchewan College of Education was discontinued a number of years ago, so that may also diminish the number of Class 5 teachers entering the market. There is no direct entry either, with the relatively new Sequential entry program with 60 specific credit units required from another college. Applications have dropped, I`m told, from an annual in excess of 600 to less than 300 this year at the University of Saskatchewan. It would be interesting to find out if that is because of program changes - or some other factor, perhaps a diminished appeal from a career or financial perspective....

I can`t help but notice that nurses are flocking to Saskatchewan in droves from all over the world. But then, I can`t recall exactly, what did the media say, a 38% increase over three years? That is pretty attractive contract increase, and if I were able to crack $90K on the 6th step with a 4 year degree that would be awesome! But...funny, I don`t recall all the associated controversy when THEY were negotiating...better marketing perhaps. Or, was that a different government....

Well, I digress. But there is so much to talk about! If nothing else there is much food for thought out there.

Anyways, regarding the Class 4, 5, and 6 salaries, perhaps that alters the perspective a bit.

Thanks!

Tyler

I've been teaching for ten years, and I'm very proud of what I have accomplished in that time. Teaching means high stress and an enormous workload but I love it more than anything, and to be honest I'd gladly do it for less money.

That said, I would like to offer some modest perspective on a teacher's 'worth'. I live in Ontario and make just under $75,000 a year. That makes my pre-tax income roughly $15 per day, per student. In contrast, the local kennel that boards my dog during the work day charges over $20.00 per day.

Keeping this in mind, would you not agree that teachers provide a high-value public service?

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