Susan Engstrom: Negotiations a sign of respect

April 25, 2014 

I am proud to be a teacher. I chose and have loved this profession for nearly three decades; I knew helping youths to reach their potential was my calling. I did not become a teacher with the idea of becoming rich. However, I did not take a vow of poverty with this job.

Ceres teachers have not received a cost of living increase in over six years. Rather, for three consecutive years we took an 8.5 percent pay cut to help save jobs and provide a quality education for the students of Ceres. During this time, insurance costs went up, and with the cost-of-living rate we are at least 13 percent less in our earnings.

Although the rest of CUSD’s employees struggle with dwindling pay, there always seems to be money for raises for administrators. Our district now has the funds to show that the teachers and classified employees are deserving of a pay raise.

By negotiating – expressing and exchanging ideas – we can set a good example for the students we serve by talking about something in order to come to an agreement. Willingness to negotiate shows respect for what we do each and every day for the students of Ceres.

SUSAN ENGSTROM

La Grange

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