ALBUQUERQUE, N.M. (KRQE) – New Mexico teachers are celebrating after getting a 20 percent pay raise, but some of the state’s most experienced educators say they still got the short end of the stick.
The Governor signed a series of education bills earlier this month, including one raising educator salaries by an average of 20-percent. It will increase minimum teacher pay to $50,000, with $10,000 increases for each teaching level.
Ellen Bernstein, the President of the Albuquerque Teacher’s Federation says, some of the most experienced teachers won’t see the full $10,000. “The more experienced teachers feel like the system doesn’t take their experience into account,” Bernstein said. “They don’t feel recognized and appreciated.”
While Superintendent Scott Elder is proud of the raises, he recognizes the shortcomings. “I wish this situation didn’t exist,” Elder said. “I’m glad people are getting something I believe they truly deserve. I wish it could have been more.”
Bernstein says she’s working to negotiate more of a raise for the more experienced teachers, but there’s not a lot of wiggle room in the funding that came from Santa Fe. “I can understand why they’re upset,” said Bernstein.
Bernstein says she’s also working on negotiations for school nurses, social workers, and counselors. They did not get a raise in that recent budget bill. Bernstein is hopeful all negotiations will be complete by the end of the school year.