Pay Cuts Disguised as Pay Raises

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Nicole, an Arizona taxpayer, testified at the Tucson community budget hearing about the teacher pay raises in the governor’s proposed budget. She noted that from 2004 to 2016, the average teacher salary, adjusted for inflation, decreased 9% despite the teacher’s average year of experience staying the same. The two-percent pay increase that the governor recommended doesn’t even begin to track inflation, so the proposal actually has the state going backward on teacher pay over the next five years. Nicole said her staff wouldn’t except a pay cut disguised as a pay raise, and Arizonans would be wise to question if teachers will accept it.