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Hazard Pay




No amount of pay can appease pain and or provide protection for someone's existence, but one should be justly compensated for sacrificing his or her life. There are so many essential workers who fall in this category for what they do day in and day out. For some reason, teachers seem to get the bad end of the stick when it comes to hazard pay. Yet, they are tasked with preparing America's entire workforce, including essentials workers, with adequate education while facing a multitude of work related threats that affect them physically and emotionally.


With the fatal rise of COVID-19, educators are more susceptible to fall victim from an already high disease transmission workplace. They spend their days around hundreds of children, parents, and colleagues that amount to a high viral infection load. Not to mention the massive stress of the profession that further compromises their immune system. There are tons of research that confirms the latter, but yet teacher pay remains at the bottom of the latter.


In the past couple of years, physical violence has become the most dangerous hazards teachers face. Nearly 13.2 percent of students admit to bringing weapons to school according to a survey report conducted by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. Our nightly news stations and social media platforms are inundated with pictures and videos that capture the terrors schools are facing in the United States. Obviously, this issue has many layers that need to be addressed, but compensating educators for the deadly hazard of being on the front line of this battle should be a no brainer.


Nationally, there were 575,000 fewer local and state education employees in October 2021 than in February 2020, according to the latest jobs report. Teacher shortage was a dire issue before the pandemic, it has become dreadful during the pandemic, and will continue to be grim post pandemic. Salary is at the forefront of the brain drain. If something is not done to pay our educators their rightful wages, our society will pay a high price it cannot afford.



ABOUT THE AUTHOR


With two decades of experience as a teacher, reading coach, and assistant principal, Berwick is an expert at tailoring curricula, creating, and delivering training programs with passion to help others effectively do the same. His educational coaching/consulting services include up close professional development for teachers and administrators and motivational speaking for students. Mr. Augustin offers self-paced online courses that teach the basic elements of writing and the structure of opinion, informative, and argumentative essays. He is also a publishing consultant at Evoke180 publishing.

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