2007. The last time Alabama educators received a pay check that contained more money than the year before was 2007. It has been a very long nine years since employees entrusted with the education of Alabama’s future received a modest seven percent raise.
The Alabama Legislature convenes in Montgomery on February 2 for the 2016 legislative session and AEA’s legislative agenda is clear – a decent pay increase for all Alabama education employees and retirees. While drafts of yet-to-be introduced legislation continue to drift throughout the state, AEA’s commitment to unconditionally increasing the bottom line for educators remains resolute.
AEA members from every corner of Alabama have responded and engaged in meaningful dialogue regarding the merits of Senator Del Marsh’s much publicized RAISE Act. Education employees who spend their days on the front-line in local school districts continue to be the most accurate messengers for what works best for our school children. Educator response to the RAISE Act has been overwhelming and your voices are being heard. Please continue to share your concerns with colleagues, parents, community leaders, and local legislators on all the aspects of the proposed legislation as it is eventually introduced and debated by the Alabama Legislature.
The AEA staff has been preparing for the upcoming session and will be at the Statehouse every day to make sure all education employees are represented in Montgomery. AEA lobbyists will be reading and studying every bill that is introduced, drafting and amending legislation, meeting with legislators, testifying before committees, and constantly roaming the halls of both the House and Senate. No stone will be left unturned in our mission to secure the highest possible pay increase – with no strings attached – for Alabama educators.
By all accounts, nine years is too long for education employees to go without an increase in take-home pay. Furthermore, multiple studies show the number of college graduates entering the education profession in Alabama has dropped dramatically over the last four years due to low wages and a reduction in educator benefits. 2016 is the year to stop this trend.
While AEA staff will be ever present in the fight, it is the voice of educators that legislators want to hear. Please join in our efforts via Facebook, Twitter and AEA text-blast messages throughout the legislative session. By speaking with one voice, educators will be heard in Montgomery. Speak out and speak up! Remember, YOU are AEA!
Click here to read the full edition of the Alabama School Journal.