Will Hay Study prompt teacher exodus? - KUAM.com-KUAM News: On Air. Online. On Demand.

Will Hay Study prompt teacher exodus?

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by Michele Catahay

Guam - Department of Education employees say the implementation of the Hay Study will force senior employees to quit from the Government of Guam and enter into the private sector or the Department of Defense school system. John F. Kennedy High School principal Ken Chargualaf says he's concerned that if the hay study is implemented, teachers and staff who have reached their capacity will end up leaving DOE.

He tells KUAM News there will be no incentives for senior employees to stay, noting, "We are quite concerned that once you reach the last pay scale, which is Step 13, that's it. You're done. That will be your salary until you retire. And that's a disincentive. My concern is that because there are no incentives to keep veteran teachers and senior government employees, we will lose them. Especially with the military buildup."

DOE teacher Colette Beausoliel says when she was given notice about the Hay Study and how pay raises will be implemented, she conducted her own study on the impacts. "Being that I'm a science person and I enjoy numbers, I thought I'd conduct an investigation of my own to see what similar markets were paying their veteran level teachers compared to the starting pay," she said.

"What came to light in the research that I did is that the starting pay has been elevated. And the terminal pay has now been capped. This is the first time we've had the cap compared to the last hay study, which I was also on Guam for," she continued. "The cap was not in place. So teachers at the terminal scale were still able to maintain their financial status."

She says while it may look enticing for younger teachers starting out, Beausoliel says in the long run, this cap will impact their financial stability in the future.  "A young teacher making an increase of $2,000 or $3,000 perhaps in their pay is happy with that but they don't realize very quickly that if they pursue a master's degree, a doctoral degree, as I did at the highest level very quickly, at a high end, if they do that quickly, by the time they're 40, they would already max out their pay," she said.

She says the only way teachers could be compensated more is to move into an administrative position, which she says isn't for everyone. She says if the pay scale is implemented, doe teachers may leave the school system for better opportunities.

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