It's time for the Legislature to restore the COLA!
The state Legislature, in direct violation of the will of the voters, has suspended our cost-of-living increase (COLA) for the past five years. The last COLA we received was in 2008-09.
Here's the history:
The Legislature used this money---taken directly from the pockets of school employees---to help meet its obligation under the State Supreme Court to fully fund public education by 2018.
In other words, you're paying for school funding out of each month's paycheck because the Legislature took away your ability to keep up with inflation.
To add insult to injury, they refused to increase your health care allocation, despite a 16.8% premium increase from Premera.
WEA's top legislative priority is to restore the COLA for the 2014-15 school year. The COLA is projected to be 1.3%.
Washington's 2011-12 average classroom teacher salary (latest year available from NEA) was $52,232. That's $3,186 below the national average, and a whopping $21,166 behind top-ranking New York State.
It's time for Olympia to stop balancing the state budget on the backs of hard-working, dedicated school employees, honor the will of the voters, and fund our COLA now!