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Cleveland School Board Suggests Replacing Teachers' Step Increases With Performance Bonuses

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Thursday, October 27, 2011 at 9:00 AM

The Cleveland Plain Dealer reports that one of the issues at stake in negotiating a new contract for Cleveland teachers is performance pay:

Negotiation documents obtained by The Plain Dealer show that the district continued to press for merit pay. Those documents from the State Employment Relations Board (SERB) also show that the district, as of August, was seeking pay cuts of 10 percent, along with eliminating 13 paid holiday and training days and having teachers pay 20 percent of health costs.

Teachers, as of August, had proposed freezing their base pay for two years, while continuing to receive "step" raises for extra years of experience or college coursework. The district plan would wipe out the step raises and replace them with bonuses for teachers with higher evaluation ratings.

Step raises are the pay raises that teachers get automatically each year as they gain another year of experience.

Earlier this year, Cleveland Mayor Frank Jackson, who appoints the Cleveland school board, asked the State Legislature to include performance pay in the state budget. Jackson told StateImpact then:

“I don’t believe that anybody should get an automatic raise just because they’ve been there,” Jackson said. “There should be some evaluation that ties their compensation to their performance and some accountability for that.”