How Illinois Teachers Are Getting Paid: A Look at the Pay of Illinois Teachers
By Laura ZuccoCNN Staff ReporterChicago, Illinois (CNN) When teachers at the Illinois State University system got a raise this summer, they saw a pay hike in their paychecks, but they also got to see the salaries of some of their peers at their other school districts.
In the months leading up to the raise, state officials and local union leaders called the union to explain how they could make up the difference in pay for the Illinois Public Schools.
They also asked the unions for a breakdown of how the increases were distributed.
The union’s response was a report on the salaries that the schools pay their teachers.
“I don’t have the data, but we know that our members are getting paid about 15% more,” said David Brown, president of the Illinois Federation of Teachers.
“They are getting a raise of over 20%.
The difference is that these are the same employees who are being paid 20% less than before.”
The salaries of Illinois teachers have not been published, but the data from the unions show that the average teacher in the state gets a raise that’s nearly double the national average.
In total, Illinois teachers will get a pay raise of about $14,200 a year, an increase of about 14% over what they received last year.
That means teachers are making $22,400 less per year.
Brown said the increase comes as part of a broader effort to increase the salaries and benefits of the state’s teachers.
“This is not the only thing we’re doing,” he said.
“We are taking our own collective bargaining and bargaining practices into account when we’re trying to achieve the salary and benefits that we want for our employees.”
According to Brown, the new pay raises are part of the larger effort by the state to boost pay for educators.
“The big thing is we’re taking our collective bargaining practices to the next level,” he told CNN.
“That means we’re going to go back to the bargaining table, and we’re actually going to get to negotiate directly with our teachers.”
The pay increases aren’t a new trend, either.
In 2011, Illinois state officials approved an increase to the state minimum wage that was expected to benefit about 1.6 million Illinois residents, but state leaders also increased the state salary for teachers to $33,000 per year, which was higher than the national minimum wage of $11,000.
Brown said the pay raises will help the state attract and retain more highly qualified teachers.
The new salary increases are the largest in a decade, he said, and it is the first time that the state has had a larger raise for teachers than it has for other state workers.
“The average teacher who is working at the state level is doing an incredible job,” Brown said.
But that is changing.
“It’s very difficult for a young person, especially a first-generation person who is coming out of college, coming into this field and having to take on the burden of supporting two parents.
That is something that is not easily addressed in our state.”
The Illinois State Senate voted earlier this month to extend the salary increases for teachers for a year and to add a new tax on those who earn more than $100,000 a year.
The state also approved a raise to the minimum wage to $9.70 an hour from $8.55 an hour, a 5% increase.
The Illinois House is expected to take up the proposal later this month.
Brown and other teachers union leaders say the wage increases are a way to improve conditions for Illinois teachers.
Brown says they are a critical part of making sure the state remains competitive with other states in education.
“These pay increases are not just a matter of the salary, but it is a matter in the whole state, the entire system,” he added.