* I think some people are confused over the proposed “16 percent pay hike” over four years for Chicago school teachers. The annual raises actually appear to be smaller than current raises. From the Sun-Times…
Topping the list of wins is the hard-fought 16 percent raise secured by the union. This four-year raise includes “steps,” or pay for each additional year of experience, on top of a 2 or 3 percent annual cost-of-living raise. The step raises look to be smaller than in the previous contract but were not eliminated.
So, teachers with fewer years on the job won’t be getting a 16 percent raise. It appears to be an average.
* Meanwhile, the Illinois Policy Institute is either having trouble differentiating between “average” and “median” or it’s deliberately obfuscating the issue. For instance…
CPS average salaries are at least 45 percent more than the average charter school salary in Chicago. CPS teachers earn more than $70,000 per year, while the average charter school teacher makes nearly $49,000. The charter school average falls in line with what a median Chicagoan with a bachelors degree earns - $48,866.
They’ve done this more than once.
As anyone even remotely familiar with statistics knows, comparing average to median is apples to oranges. It should never be done. But it is being done, repeatedly, by the alleged “think tank.”
Also, according to the same Census data referenced by the IL Policy Institute, the median wages for Chicagoans with graduate or professional degrees is $62,352. A whole lot of teachers have advanced degrees.
* And there’s been a lot of talk about the average Chicago Teachers salary. Reuters, however, has a different number…
Chicago teachers make a mean [average] of $61,790 annually for a primary school teacher to $69,470 for high school, according to government figures, which is slightly lower than comparable urban district New York City but a bit higher than Los Angeles. Chicago spends $7,946 a year on instruction per student, which is in line with most school districts in Illinois but well below some of the wealthiest suburban Chicago districts.
*** UPDATE *** Ezra Klein looks at the numbers…
As is often the case with stats like these, the median salary is below the mean: for the 2010-11 school year, the most recent year for which data is available, the median salary was $67,974, as opposed to the mean of $74,236 that year (as reported, pdf, by the Illinois State Board of Education). That mean is slightly different than the one reported by CPS because it relies on more recent ISBE data.
Some of that salary has to go to pension contributions. Teachers are required to contribute 9 percent of their salary to their pensions, and support personnel must contribute 8.5 percent, as opposed to 6.2 percent if they were part of the Social Security system. But the Chicago Public Schools system pays for 7 percent of the employee contribution. So the more relevant comparison is a 1.5 to 2 percent contribution for CPS employees compared to 6.2 percent for private sector workers paying Social Security tax. So the median after-pension income is $66,614 , which a private sector employee on Social Security would need to earn $71,017 a year to make. So a median of $71,017 (or a mean of $77,560) is the most relevant number for comparing Chicago public school teachers to other workers.[Emphasis added]
In other words, the median is $66.6K for Chicago school teachers, which would equal a private sector gross salary of $71K.
[ *** End Of Update *** ]
* In other numbers news, here are the full results for the poll published by the Sun-Times yesterday…
Q. Do you support or oppose the strike by the Chicago Teachers Union?
(Don’t Read) 14% Don’t Know
Q How good a job has Mayor Rahm Emanuel done in dealing with the Chicago Teachers Union?
20% Below Average
(Don’t Read) 8% Don’t Know
Not great numbers for hizzoner.
Crosstabs are here.
* On to the live coverage. BlackBerry users click here. Everybody else can just watch..