In our district we are lucky to have a teachers' union. Now I am not a union
person per say...but I must say...it sure does give you some bargaining
power. Teachers in our district are paid according to education/experience
and not according to what they teach. Therefor I make as much as a high
school AP Science instructor with the same level of experience and education.
In our special teachers (and middle and high school staff) are paid by the #
of classes or periods they teach per week. The max is 25 class or hours of
contact with students per week. So an elementary art teacher can have 25
classes per week (our ele art classes are one hour per week for K-5). This
means up to 5 classes per day.
So...for instance at one school I have 19 classes (I could have up to 20) and
I am a .8 and at my other school I have 4 classes. Now as I have to travel
during the day two days a week, this adds an extra hour to my schedule.
(travel time is counted as part of the 25 hours) So that brings me up to 24
sections. You can be full time in our district with 23 sections. There was
a time when you could be full time with 19....but no more...<sigh>
So....WHAT WOULD I DO??? I would check my contract and see if they can cut
my pay without cutting my hours? Also are you tenured? For instance, if you
are tenured in our district (automatic after 4 years) The you are guaranteed
your position unless the position is cut...then I guess you get unemployment!
Or the reverse is true...if you are a .8 you actually have to be "hired" if
you are increased. They try not to increase people as then they are
guaranted to have what they have been hired for!
Good Luck!!! But in the end...I would not do the same work for less money!!!