Upon reading “County Workers, Officials Will Get Year-end Bonuses,” my initial reaction was shock and anger. After further investigation, the shock and anger were somewhat relieved with the news that at least one elected official would be refusing the 2 percent bonus. Quite shortly after, those feelings turned to pure envy since I am a Tooele County employee but will not be receiving a bonus. You see I am an employee of the Tooele County School District, the troubled, still-looking-for-cuts-to-be made institution.
I am fairly new to teaching, so I expect low pay, to spend much of my own money in my classroom, and I even still remember that money is not why I chose this career. My cohorts though, who are both five or more years more experienced than I, make only a few hundred dollars more annually than I do. They both speak about finding new careers often. A retention bonus would undoubtedly be a surprising gift.
To be fair, Tooele County teachers do have an opportunity to get a longevity bonus. Those who have been at it for at least 15 years get a whopping $200 as appreciation for staying. That’s a high contrast to a 2 percent bonus, don’t you think? At approximately 0.5 percent of their annual pay, this is just a bit less than we are given to supply our classrooms of 30 students for an entire year.
Here I am whining already—and my career has just begun. Forgive me. I’m not in it for the money, but I am starting to wonder if I am in it for longevity.