*Q&A: Why not try for 26 pays?*

*Q&A: Why not try for 26 pays?*

July 30, 2016

You’re going to need a calculator for this.

First, type in your typical direct deposit amount. Use an amount from earlier in the spring. May might have been a weird month because of some supplements.

Second, multiply that number by 24.

Third, take that product and divide by 26.

You should notice a difference between the number you started with and the new number. The new number will be smaller.

Here’s an example: Suppose your typical direct deposit is $1100. When you multiply by 24 and then divide by 26, your new number would be: 1015.39

Fourth, hit clear on the calculator and subtract the new number from the original direct deposit number. (In the example above, after subtracting, you’d get $84.61)

Fifth, take your answer, and multiply it by 2. (In this ongoing example, when you multiply by 2, you’d get 169.22)

So what is the number you are looking at?

THAT IS HOW MUCH YOU WOULD LOSE IN MONTHLY INCOME IF WE WENT BACK TO 26 PAYCHECKS.

For most teachers, the loss in monthly income would be AT LEAST $150. For many it would be over $200.

So many teachers share stories of how tight things are financially. They are barely making the monthly bills. For those teachers going through tight times (and that is probably most of us) the loss of monthly income of $150 to $225 would be devastating. Therefore, BFT will NOT be advocating a return to 26 pays.

Counter arguments to everything above:

But getting paid every other week was a really nice system. True, 26 pays had it advantages. If there was ever a week without a payday, there was always a payday NEXT WEEK. We never had 2 weeks in a row without a payday. Yes, that was sweet. But the trade off was a lower monthly income.

But really, the salary is all the same, right? Whether it is 26 or 24. Yes, of course. They really weren’t stealing our money, back when it was 26 pays. There were 2 months of the year with extra paychecks. It always works out that 2 months with 5 Fridays have extra paychecks. So, we did get all our money in the end. Those were really nice months.

Those 2 months with the 3rd checks were really nice. Absolutely, they were. Some people got ahead on bills. Or caught up on things that had fallen behind. Or could set aside some money for a vacation or some other nice purchase. However, for those people who are tight, struggling to get all the bills paid monthly, the urgent need is to maximize monthly income. Getting 24 pays maximizes monthly income. Unless you pay rent daily or rent your car daily or pay your electric bill daily, your bills come in monthly. You need to maximize your monthly income.

IF 24 pays really makes a difference, then how come back in August 2011, when we began 24 pays, I didn’t notice a big increase? Great point, and I’ve heard it from many. If going from 24 to 26 creates a monthly pay cut for 10 months of the year, shouldn’t it work the other way too? Wouldn’t moving from 26 to 24 have made a noticeable increase? Well, something else happened at the beginning of the 2011-2012 school year: the FRS 3% deduction. That took MOST of the increase away in one shot. Look at your stub sometime to see how much Governor Scott stole from us when he became governor. That 3% deduction kicked in the same time as the switchover in pay. Much of that increase was wiped out by FRS. Tragic, yes. Across Florida state employees took the brunt of Floridians voting wrong in the 2010 election. But in Brevard, we didn’t notice it as much. We just didn’t get any benefit from increasing our monthly income. We certainly noticed the 2 checks missing per year, but we did not benefit from the monthly increase that much. We can say the FRS thing didn’t hurt as bad. But it is still awful.

But still – isn’t there anything that can be done to help with the gap between paydays? Yes, we know with 24 pays, sometimes teachers go 2 full weeks between paydays. The gap can be up to 19 days. (Maybe more) We plan to work with them this summer to see if we can adjust some paydays to make sure the gaps aren’t so wide. Yes, a gap between paydays can be rough. Not as rough as losing $200 a month in income. But we will see what we can do about those gaps.

I hope this clears up why BFT is not forcing the issue on 26 pays. If the district wanted to return to it, we’d have to think long and hard. Given the math, we would probably want to resist it at all costs. Our bargaining team certainly will not be bringing it to the table. For those struggling to pay the monthly bills, it could be devastating.

Thanks for checking and being informed!