Opinion | Educators, retirees deserve a pay raise

February 9, 2018

By Rep. Craig Ford

Eleven years is a long time to go without a pay raise. But for educators, state employees and retirees in Alabama, that’s how long it has been. And for retirees and many state employees, they have actually had their pay cut during those eleven years.

You may be thinking that educators, state employees and retirees had received raises in recent years. But that isn’t exactly true.

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Lawmakers eye 2.5–3 percent raise for state educators, employees

January 15, 2018

By Chip Brownlee
Alabama Political Reporter

With high revenues and confidence in the budgets this year, state lawmakers are hoping for what could be as high as a 2.5–3 percent pay raise for K-12 educators and state employees.

Gov. Kay Ivey proposed the pay increase in her first State of the State Address last week but the Governor and other officials have been vague on how large the pay increase could be. State employees haven’t received a cost-of-living pay raise since 2009 and educators haven’t seen one in two years.

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House Passes Defense Appropriations Bill

March 15, 2017

By Brandon Moseley
Alabama Political Reporter

Wednesday, March 8, 2017, The US House of Representatives passed of HR1301, the Department of Defense Appropriations Act for Fiscal Year (FY) 2017. The Legislation passed the House by a bipartisan vote of 371 to 48.

US Representative Martha Roby (R-Montgomery) wrote, “The House passed the Fiscal Year 2017 Defense Appropriations bill. As a member of the Defense Appropriations Subcommittee, I’m really pleased with this bill. It’s a big win for the military on both a national and local level.”
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Shelby supports NDAA raising soldiers’ pay

December 9, 2016

By Brandon Moseley
Alabama Political Reporter

Thursday, December 8, 2016, the US Senate passed the National Defense Authorization Act (NDAA) for Fiscal Year 2017 Conference Report. US Senator Richard Shelby (R-Alabama) said that the NDAA gives America’s fighting men and women their largest pay increase in six years.

Sen. Shelby said in a statement, “I believe that one of Congress’ most important responsibilities is to ensure that our military is equipped to defend our nation both at home and abroad. While this bill is not perfect, the NDAA supports our men and women in uniform with the resources that they need and addresses the Obama Administration’s dangerous underfunding of our military. This legislation also gives our troops the largest pay increase in six years and makes much-needed improvements to our military health care system. I’m proud to support the NDAA to ensure that we have a highly trained, well-equipped, and properly funded military to protect us.”
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State Employees Should Be A Budget Priority in 2017

October 7, 2016

By Minority Leader Rep. Craig Ford

Imagine you went for nine years without a pay raise. Now imagine that, during those nine years, your boss made you start paying more for your health insurance and retirement plan. Now imagine that your boss laid-off about one out of every five of your coworkers, forcing you to do their jobs as well as your own.

For nearly 30,000 Alabamians, that situation is not something they have to imagine; it’s the reality of their lives.
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Education Budget and Pay Raise Bill Passed by Legislature

April 22, 2016

By Brandon Moseley
Alabama Political Reporter

Thursday, April 22, the Pay Raise bill and ETF Budget both passed out of Conference Committee and were approved by both Houses of the Alabama Legislature.

State Representative Mack Butler (R-Rainbow City) said in a statement, “A very busy day today in Montgomery! We non concurred with the Senate on the education budget and pay raise bills. Next they went to conference committee and then came back with an agreement to which we concurred.”
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Senate Passes Teacher Pay Raise with Amendments

April 14, 2016

By Brandon Moseley
Alabama Political Reporter

Wednesday, April 13, the Alabama Senate approved a cost of living adjustment for teachers and education employees when it passed HB21 sponsored by Rep. Bill Poole (R-Tuscaloosa).

The House bill was heavily amended in the Senate.

Senate Finance & Taxation Education Committee Chairman Arthur Orr (R-Decatur) amended the bill to include principals and assistant principals in the four percent raise. “They are the backbone of the schools,” Orr said. The bill that came from the House gave a four percent raise to all education employees making $75,000 or less. That would have included virtually all teachers since the pay scale for teachers had maxed out at $62,000. Employees making more than $75,000 were limited to two percent raises. Many principals are in this category. Orr’s amendment would give all principals and assistant principals the full four percent raise no matter what they earn now. Orr estimated that the cost of the principal raises would be $4 million.
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House Expected to Pass Education Budget with Four Percent Raise for Most Education Employees

March 7, 2016

By Brandon Moseley
Alabama Political Reporter

The Alabama House of Representatives is expected to pass an education budget this week that will increase teachers and education workers by four percent a year……double the two percent raise requested by Alabama Governor Robert Bentley (R). The education received a favorable report from the House Ways and Means Education Committee on Wednesday and could be passed by the full House as early as Tuesday.
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Hubbard Accused of Punishing Conservatives

February 1, 2016

By Brandon Moseley
Alabama Political Reporter

The Alabama House Republican Caucus met in a special meeting on Martin Luther King Day to re-confirm embattled State Representative Mike Hubbard (R-Auburn) as the Speaker of the House, a job he has held since the 2010 Special Session. Perhaps telegraphing an effort to raise taxes on the people of Alabama again, an emboldened Speaker Mike Hubbard struck back against GOP members of the legislature who fought against raising taxes in 2015.
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Educators Deserve A Raise, But The Proposed Merit Pay Bill Has Serious Flaws

January 22, 2016

By Minority Leader Rep. Craig Ford

When the state Legislature returns to Montgomery in two weeks, one of the top issues will be a cost-of-living pay raise for educators. Both parties agree that the money is there, and now is the time. But there are some major differences between what both party’s are proposing.

House Democrats will propose a 5 percent pay raise for all teachers, support personnel and retirees. The bill some Republicans are working on is much different. It would not only fundamentally change how teachers are paid, but would also create an expensive and intrusive new bureaucracy.
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