We got our first paychecks that reflect the raise that our union fought for on our behalf. Before taxes, my “raise” comes out to around $68.20. Once Uncle Sam takes his cut, there’s enough left for a couple of pizzas or maybe a tank full of gas. And they wonder why we all want to be instructional designers. As I have noted before, our increase lags behind the current rate of inflation. It’s times like these that make me wonder why I still bother.
The state I live in is led by a little man who seems to hate public education. His latest move is to prevent unions from deducting dues from paychecks. Instead, the unions will have to process checks or direct bank account withdrawals. Our union was doing this for a while in anticipation of a change like this but they reverted back to paycheck withdrawals because the work involved with checks and withdrawals was too onerous. Our gov is proposing to put this idea into a bill that calls for teacher raises. This is shrewd politicking that follows other legislation that serves to alienate LGBTQ children or the children of LGBTQ. The only reason I can think of to make it harder to pay union dues is to weaken the union. Our state has historically led the charge on charter schools and vouchers and this plays into that mindset. Our little gov hates public education.
I guess I’m supposed to be writing about gratitude and all of the nice little things we are supposed to think about this time of year. I honestly like what I do for a living. I’ve learned that the gratitude has to come from places other than money. My goal each day is to help a kid have a slightly better day for having run into me in the classroom or the hallway. This is fulfilling to me and I hope that I can stay in the profession without wondering if I am going to spend the last years of my career living in a car.
My goal for 2023 is to figure out if I can stay in the profession while working a side hustle that does not kill me. I’d rather not play the sucker’s game of working three jobs so that I can feel secure in my present life and future. I would leave my current job with a heavy heart as I’ve felt very connected to our school community. Unfortunately, love don’t pay my bills.