When Governor Martinez ran for her current position she made it clear that she would avoid cuts to education. Nevertheless when times got hard she asked the state’s educational employees to sacrifice by not getting any pay raises over the last three years. These same employees had to pay more into their retirement fund while the state paid less. The retirement fund is mandatory so employees cannot just choose to not contribute to the retirement fund.
Now that the state has money to spend because of oil and gas; the governor does not wish to share the benefit with educational employees. The major reason this state has seen so many retirements as of late is because educational employees do not see their yearly income increasing anytime soon. Many educational employees are asking themselves why put off retiring if they only see a reduction in their yearly pay and there is no benefit from staying on the job?
Private sector jobs allow their employees to opt out of employee retirement plans. Not so with educational employees. Private sector jobs have higher beginning salaries than educational state jobs. Many people have to ask why sacrifice to work for a state that only dumps criticisms on their employee’s jobs performances while not paying for educational conferences.
Educational Administrators, who are highly paid employees, are the ones making all the trips to conferences while front line educational employees stay home and make due with less support materials. Some instructors receive zero dollar budgets for classroom materials. Teachers cannot afford to keep paying for the work supplies to do their jobs correctly.
Legislators and the governor will find out just how upset educational employees are with their behaviors when educational employees go to the polls this year. The one thing everyone knows about educational employees in this state is that they have long memories and vote often.