Teachers and state workers unlikely to see pay raise - ABC 33/40 - Birmingham News, Weather, Sports

Teachers and state workers unlikely to see pay raise

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It's been five years since Alabama teachers have seen anything extra in their payday. No raises. No cost-of-living increases.

Last fall, Governor Robert Bentley said he would support a pay raise for teachers this legislative session. But now he's singing a different tune.

A payraise is a permanent expense. Once it is added, it's there to stay. For every one percent pay increase for teachers, the state would be out another 35 million dollars. The big question is can government sustain such a raise.

Senator Jabo Waggoner today says members of the legislature are looking at ways to scale back on state services that are being duplicated in order to make more room in the budget.

The Alabama education association has scaled back its request. Now asking for a ten percent raise for teachers over three years, instead of two.

Senator Waggoner says every member of the legislature wants to give teachers a raise. It's just a matter of dollars and cents.

"Something has got to give. The economy needs to turn around. Or we need to save money by having a more efficient state government," said Waggoner.

Waggoner says, if they scale back, it could create several million dollars.

A representative for the AEA says the union fears more teachers will begin looking elsewhere for more competitive pay, citing Alabama has already lost nearly 13-thousand educators since the recession.

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