Is cash-strapped HISD decreasing teacher salaries for the upcoming school year? That’s that claim one teacher is making in a viral Facebook post that’s racked up more than 18,000 views and 700 shares.
Victor Treviño III, the teacher behind the video, feels like the current fight over teacher pay is déjà vu of a similar battle in 2016.
Treviño says he’s most upset the plan’s reportedly been in the works since March, but he only recently found out about it after being tipped off by a concerned HISD employee.
“Obviously teachers, we don’t get into this profession to become millionaires, but at the same time, we don’t want to be undervalued. We don’t want to be exploited,” said Treviño, who’s taught at Austin High School in southeast Houston for 11 years.
In a now-viral video, Treviño warns the district is planning to lower teachers’ expected salaries in the upcoming school year, while at the same time, he says, adding high-level, high salary administration jobs.
“If you really care about students’ achievement, we need to be able to attract and retain the most highly qualified teachers in those classrooms,” said Treviño, who wants HISD to scrap the idea and also begin a new superintendent search.
“That draft of the salary schedule freezes salaries at their current level,” said Andy Dewey, Executive Vice President of the Houston Federation of Teachers, the union for HISD teachers. “Nobody would get less money next year.”
However, Dewey says if that draft proposal is adopted, those employees will not make what they expected to make based on the current salary schedule.
“That’s where Victor is saying the pay cut is coming from, the fact that they are not getting the amount of money that was promised them for next year,” Dewey said.
Dewey says if the board approves freezing salaries, that change would come after the July 13 deadline for teachers to resign and potentially find higher-paying jobs elsewhere.
“Frankly, I believe if HISD tries to do that after the resignation date, they’ll be in breach of contract,” he said.
Dewey says union officials will meet with district higher-ups on Aug. 2 during their monthly consultation. He hopes officials will back off the proposal.
KHOU requested an interview with HISD officials Thursday and emailed several questions, including whether the draft proposal was still under consideration and how long it’s been in the works. In response, HISD sent the following statement:
“Teachers will not see a pay decrease in their salaries for the 2018-2019 school year.”