Rolling reserve rolls over your raise
By Dr. Henry C. Mabry, Executive Secretary
Many lawmakers have made the statement they wish they could give educators a six percent raise, but that the money will not be there. If the economy performs as expected, the money will be there.
Republican legislative leaders, like Speaker Mike Hubbard and Senator Del Marsh, who don’t want to give a raise use the, “We-wish-we-could-but-we-don’t-have-the-money,” falsehood, because they are just spineless to tell you what they really think. Which is that that they want to punish teachers, support professionals, and education retirees by not providing a raise, just like they cut your pay out of spite just because they had the power to do so. They did not have to have the money as they told many of you – Lie Number One. Again, they just wanted to stick it to educators because they could do so.
Gov. Robert Bentley crows that the state has saved $1 billion while the Republicans have been in complete control. What he does not tell the public is that over a half billion dollars of that has come out of the pockets of teachers, bus drivers, school nurses, cafeteria workers, and other paraprofessionals. They cut educators pay, and then they spent the money on other things while at the same time cutting teacher units and necessities for our schools.
Not one Democrat in the Senate voted to cut your pay. Only three Republican senators at the time voted against cutting your pay, Sens. Dick Brewbaker, Paul Sanford, and Cam Ward. The other 18 Republicans voted to cut your pay. Some of these include Sens. Del Marsh of Anniston, Gerald Allen of Tuscaloosa, Gerald Dial of Lineville, Rusty Glover of Mobile, Jimmy Holley of Elba, Trip Pittman of Baldwin Co., Tom Whatley of Auburn, and Phil Williams of Gadsden.
On the House side, Rep. Charles Newton of Greenville and Rep. Patricia Todd of Birmingham were the only two Democrats who voted for the pay cut. There were 39 Republicans to vote for the pay cut. The only Republican House members (at the time) voting against the pay cut were Reps. Todd Greeson, Alan Baker, Paul Beckman, K.L. Brown, Donnie Chesteen, Steve Hurst, Mike Millican, Arthur Payne, Greg Wren, Becky Nordgren, & Ron Johnson. Reps. Jim McClendon & Harry Shiver did not vote for the pay cut.
Besides Speaker Hubbard, some of those voting for the pay cut were Reps. Alan Boothe, Jim Patterson, Barry Moore, Kerry Rich, John Merrill, Mike Ball, Richard Baughn, Steve Clouse, Allen Farley, Victor Gaston, Lynn Greer (who called our teachers “greedy”), Jay Love, Bill Poole, and Mac McCutcheon.
Our educators will more than likely hear the “We-don’t-have-the-money” excuse – Lie Number Two – from many of the House and Senate members mentioned. Hopefully, though, some will have had a road to Damascus experience and quit following the hateful and vindictive leadership of the House and Senate.
Last year’s ETF growth was 4%, and economists throughout the country believe economic growth should be stronger in 2014. The Federal Reserve Board expects growth plus inflation to be 4.55% in 2014. The Federal Reserve Board expects growth plus inflation to be 5.05% in 2015. Using these growth figures, $500 million in new money would be available versus the skimpy and unrealistic $134 million the legislature wants us to believe is what should be spent.
The brain trust of the Republican legislative leadership will use 3% for 2014 growth and ZERO for 2015 growth in budgeting for the 2015 budget. This is all thanks to Rolling Reserve Budgeting which is only used in Alabama and not in any of the other 49 states or Puerto Rico. Not even Mississippi uses such a backward approach to budgeting.
Alabama is the only state in the country that does not use a growth amount for the budgeted year of spending. Under Rolling Reserve Budgeting, 2015 spending will be based upon 2013 revenue plus an arbitrary growth amount for 2014. This means growth for 2015, anticipated to be almost $300 million, will be set aside instead of making educators whole for the money that was taken from teachers and support professionals in 2011, 2012, and 2013. The cumulative pay cut for our people will be 5.25% by the time the next budget rolls around in October. It would take a “raise” of 5.25% just to get educators back to even. Anything less means the Republican supermajority has given educators a pay cut during this four year period–the first pay cut educators have received since the 1930s.
Thanks to policies of the legislative leadership, including Rolling Reserve Budgeting, Alabama schools have been cut more than schools in any state of the Union over the past five years. Let me reiterate. The Republican-led legislature has cut Alabama school spending more dollars than cuts in any state of the country. Spending for our surrounding southern states has been increasing, but our education spending has been decreasing thanks to the knot-head idea of Rolling Reserve Budgeting.
If legislators say we will not have 4% growth this year and 4.5% growth next year, then all the crowing of the Republican leadership about job creation and economic growth under this regime is Lie Number Three. The state’s elected leadership touts how great and wonderful things are in Alabama economically, so there should be no difficulty in reaching a modest 4% to 4.5% growth to make our educators whole for their spitefulness against our people.
Educators need to call their Alabama House and Senate members to voice support for a 6% pay raise. After all, you have paid for it.
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