PEEHIP funds slashed, educators to see $81 monthly increase under senate budget propsal
Pittman halts pay raise; educator take home pay to be cut again thanks to under funding PEEHIP if senate budget becomes law
With just 11 meeting days left in the legislative session, Sen. Trip Pittman and other Republicans in the Alabama Senate have dealt a serious blow to educator hopes of getting a raise after years of increased living expenses, stagnant wages, and insurance and retirement cost hikes.
Thursday, the senate passed the Education Trust Fund (ETF) budget that included a 1 percent one-time bonus for K-14 employees and an $81 monthly increase in PEEHIP costs that was a slap in the face to all education employees. Retired educators fared even worse in the substituted budget by failing to receive a cost of living adjustment for the seventh straight year.
To be clear, what these legislators have offered as a bonus couldn’t be further from the truth. With the extra PEEHIP costs, a pay cut is what educators will receive. The PEEHIP increase will amount to $972 annually for every education employee and retiree. The 1 percent bonus will amount to an average of $472 for teachers and $180 for support professionals resulting in a net loss of $500 for teachers and $792 for support professionals. Retirees will lose the full $972 since they were not included in the bonus.
In addition to the 1 percent bonus and PEEHIP cut, the budget that passed the Alabama Senate does not include funding for school libraries, technology or professional development. These programs have not received one penny from the ETF since this group of legislators was elected in 2010.
All AEA members must act now to protect themselves from another pay cut. There is still time for the voices of education employees and retirees to be heard. The education budget now moves to the Alabama House of Representatives where it must receive final passage and be signed by Governor Bentley before becoming law. Call your legislators today. Tell them to restore PEEHIP funding to the amount Governor Bentley recommended and to provide the raise educators have earned!