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Tuesday, May 24, 2011

Did Nevada teachers recieve a pay cut?

"It's good to be the king teacher!"
Excellent benefits, job security (Nevada keeps 99.4 percent of its teachers) 
and recession proof income!

Some people in Nevada have been complaining about "dramatic" cuts in teacher pay and that this might actually drive teachers away from Nevada. But have teachers received an actual pay cut?

The answer isn't clear. Teachers have received "furloughs" which means they are required to take unpaid time off.  This means their pay will be lower than it otherwise would be. However, step increases, promotions, and adjustments to the salary schedule STILL OCCUR! (On paper these pay increases also count toward retirement pension. An actual salary cut, on the other hand, would reduce that future pension - this is why teacher unions fight for furloughs instead of pay cuts -> all the pay increases occur out of sight!)

In other words, the teacher pay may be down from what they "expected" but may actually be up from the previous year!

Just look at the pay-schedule comparison (below). Data comes from the CCSD teacher salary pay-schedule for 2010-11 and 2007-08 school years.
The top portion of the graph looks at the pay and pay increase for step one across all pay ranks for teachers. The middle looks at the highest pay-schedule for each rank and the bottom looks at year 7 pay (this is the middle point for step increases on the 2010-11 pay schedule and will thus serve as a proxy for average pay).

Ranks A-C are for teachers with BA degrees (B and C are for teachers taking advanced courses but not yet earned the MA). Ranks C, D, E, F are for teachers with graduate degrees and additional coursework. Rank G is for teachers with "advanced certifications" or a doctorate (Ph.D. or Ed.D).

CCSD Teacher Pay Schedule Comparison: 2007-08 to 2010-1
(click on it to zoom in)

As you can see the pay scale for teachers on Step 1 has grown dramatically since 2007-08 school year. Inflation since then has been around 5.2 percent. In other words, teacher pay for the first step has increased 2x to 3x more than inflation.

The middle chart shows the top-end pay has not grown as fast as inflation, but this may actually be due to the fact that teachers can top out of their rank 2 years earlier! Pay has gone up, but not as fast, but you can reach that top pay 2 years earlier!

That is why I also looked at year 7 - the middle point on the pay schedule. As you can see, with the exception of Class A (which tops out at year 5) all the others see dramatic growth. Almost all the categories beat inflation most by 2x!  Toss in a small amount of furlough days and teachers may actually be making as much or more than they did when the recession began!

Basically, furloughs are a scam - it allows government to pretend it made salary cuts without actually making any salary cuts.

Any brave teacher unionistas out there want to prove me wrong? Please submit your tax returns for 2007 or 2008 and 2010 to

NOTE: 1 teacher has claimed they are not subject to furloughs. If true then teachers have had substantial pay increases since the recession started (of over 10 percent) and Sandoval's request of a 5 percent pay cut for teachers (education employees) is overly kind.  Employees make up a majority of the budget and an increase of 10 percent in salaries constitutes a significant portion of our budget shortfall.


  1. Not every school district has allowed step raises and other upward adjustments for teachers. A lot of school districts bargained for wage freezes to avoid layoffs. If you did some research beyond Clark County, you might learn that before shooting your fool mouth off.

  2. I agree, do some more homework. I work for the Nevada System of Higher Education and even though step increases, promotions, and cost of living adjustments haven't been eliminated they are not being granted either. There is no money to give! I personally haven't received a pay increase of any kind in four years. I've taken a paycut in the form of furlouges and now our health benefits have been drastically reduced. I don't complain because it's for the greater good for Nevada and my childrens' futures here.

  3. As an employee of the Nevada Department of Labor, I had to take the same pay cuts (almost 5%) depite the fact that we don't come out of the General Fund. In all fairness, the percentage of college degrees among state employees is higher than the public sector. I for one make $40,000 a year even though I have 2 Bachelor degrees. I have not received a pay raise in 2-3 years, and we are not on track to receive any kind of increase for the next two years. Our sweet deal of benefits come out of our pay. We pay into our medical and retirement. Don't "Hate on us" just because we are still working. Please do some research in the future. (Pelon)

  4. Did I just read three comments about people being upset and experiencing "hardship" because they either had their salary frozen or dont expect to see a pay raise in the next two years or that they even had to take, ready for this, a FIVE % pay cut? Welcome to the private sector people. Talk to someone who has taken a 30 to 40% pay cut over the last two years. Not to mention when you look at what teachers are making coming in, $35k. Doesnt sound like alot but considering they work 3/4 of the year that budgets to be above what the average Las Vegas employee makes. Could go on and on but I'll just state the most obvious.

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