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Support Westfield's Teachers

So while looking for your first job, these costs weigh heavily on your mind. Being a practical person, your instinct is to find a community that will pay you the most money for your skills and expertise. You live in the greater Springfield area so the first place you look at is Connecticut because some teacher friends told you that starting salaries for teachers just over the border are much, much higher than in Western Massachusetts. Unfortunately, because teacher salaries are higher in Connecticut, most of the other candidates are better qualified or more experienced than you so you are unable to land a job there.

Giving up on Connecticut, you decide to find a job closer to home. After submitting your resumé to several communities, West Springfield and Westfield invite you in for an interview. You impress both school superintendents with your youthful energy and passion for teaching and you think both of them may offer you a position. But now you have a decision to make: which school system will you choose to work in?

First, you look at the starting salaries of the teachers. West Springfield's is $40,688 and Westfield's is $36,027. The extra $4,661 each year would go a long way to helping you pay down your education loans. Next, you look up the latest average teacher salaries for both cities. You see that a teacher in West Springfield, on average, earns $1,851 per year more than a Westfield teacher. Finally, you want to work in a community that you know is committed to its teachers. It's your understanding that West Springfield just gave a 5% raise over three years to its teachers while Westfield has been giving their teachers zero and 1% increases for several years now.

The choice is easy for you and you are thrilled when West Springfield sends you a letter telling you to report to work this summer. Meanwhile, a friend of yours who wasn't able to pull the kind of good grades you did in college had to settle for a job in Westfield. She says she is miserable working in a city where she feels her work is not respected by the leaders in the community and wants to know if there are any job openings in West Springfield for teachers.

The story you just read isn't fictional. It's happening. And that's why, as both a parent and candidate for Westfield's city council, I'll be standing with and supporting Westfield's teacher to call attention to their woefully inadequate compensation. I encourage you to join me.