Rick Trotter: Pay role

November 26, 2013 

The Nov. 22 business article “GM’s profits underscore auto industry comeback” reported that the end to government control of GM “would end restrictions on pay for top executives that (GM) has complained hampered recruiting.” It seems that top executives at GM, or other companies GM might recruit from, don’t work where they do simply because they love what they do. It seems that in spite of the fact that “top executives” are unlikely to be in financial hardship, competitive pay is a significant factor in the choice of such a person to stay or move on.

When our North Carolina lawmakers consider the role of teacher quality in achieving the goal of better student outcomes, they should recognize that competitive pay for teachers must be part of the equation. That’s not simply competitive pay for master’s teachers, but – perhaps even more important – competitive pay for entry-level teachers. It has been widely reported that N.C. ranks 46th in the nation in teacher pay. Restricting spending on teacher pay may provide short-term political benefit for some who have campaigned to reduce government spending. In the long run, it will contribute to a decline in the economic competitiveness of young North Carolinians.

Rick Trotter


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