I think Washington teachers should have a cost-of-living pay raise. We are fair people in this state and I don’t think many of us believe teachers are worth less today than they were last year, or the year before, or way back in 2007, which I think is the last year they got a cost-of-living boost.
This is fair, but not easy. A lot of people who pay the taxes to pay the teachers haven’t gotten a pay raise lately, either. Some have had their pay cut. Some don’t have a job at all. They don’t have the luxury of pressuring their employer for higher wages through the political process. Teachers aren’t shy about that. They played on voter sympathies in a big way in 2000, when Initiative 732 was passed overwhelmingly, granting automatic yearly raises keyed to an inflated cost-of-living index, and giving the Legislature no clue how to pay for them.