Miami School Clinicians Win Salary Supplement and Recognition After a decade-long fight, speech-language pathologists in the County Public Schools won unanimous approval from the district school board in August 2005 for an annual $4,000 salary supplement for those who hold a master’s degree in speech-language pathology and an additional $1,000 for the ASHA-CCC. The marathon effort began in ... School Matters
Free
School Matters  |   May 01, 2006
Miami School Clinicians Win Salary Supplement and Recognition
Author Notes
  • Susan Boswell, an assistant managing editor of The ASHA Leader, can be reached at sboswell@asha.org.
    Susan Boswell, an assistant managing editor of The ASHA Leader, can be reached at sboswell@asha.org.×
Article Information
School-Based Settings / Practice Management / Professional Issues & Training / School Matters
School Matters   |   May 01, 2006
Miami School Clinicians Win Salary Supplement and Recognition
The ASHA Leader, May 2006, Vol. 11, 1-35. doi:10.1044/leader.SCM2.11062006.35
The ASHA Leader, May 2006, Vol. 11, 1-35. doi:10.1044/leader.SCM2.11062006.35
After a decade-long fight, speech-language pathologists in the County Public Schools won unanimous approval from the district school board in August 2005 for an annual $4,000 salary supplement for those who hold a master’s degree in speech-language pathology and an additional $1,000 for the ASHA-CCC.
  • Graphic Jump LocationImage Not Available

  • From left, Miami SLPs Jane Crane, Esther McVoy, and Jodi de la Torre were instrumental in winning a district-wide salary supplement.
The marathon effort began in 1995 when Esther McVoy and other district SLPs realized that the salary supplement was critical in recruiting and retaining personnel. “It was more than a critical shortage-it was a crisis,” McVoy recalled.
Two initial efforts were met with indifference and years passed. Finally, the political winds of change began two years ago when the teachers union, United Teachers of Dade (UTD), went through a reorganization. “This time, we had the full backing of the union,” McVoy said.
SLPs approached the new union and educated them on speech-language pathology and the importance of providing quality service to the students. Representing all 250 SLPs in the district, the UTD went to the bargaining table and began to educate the district representatives as well as the school board. The SLPs joined a letter-writing campaign, making the case for a salary supplement with all three levels of officials in the district, including principals, regional offices, and district-level administrators.
In their letters, the SLPs talked about the diversity of students and communication disorders on their caseload, dispelling the myth that they primarily worked on articulation. They also connected their work with language disorders with the general curriculum, McVoy noted.
Medicaid Reimbursement
The advent of Medicaid billing five years ago bolstered their cause. “This was money that the district could receive. But we did not have enough master’s level SLPs needed to bill Medicaid,” McVoy said.
In a presentation to district officials, McVoy and Jane Crane, another member of the negotiating team, made their case with data. Numerous comparative charts demonstrating the demand for SLPs in various settings matched with salary levels brought home the urgency to the school board.
“Every year I went to the ASHA Convention and gathered information about other states that had salary supplements,” said McVoy, who presented information to the district staff. McVoy and Crane also provided a comparison of how Miami-Dade district SLP salaries and caseload stacked up in relation to neighboring districts.
“While this supplement is financially beneficial to SLPs, more importantly it demonstrates the long-awaited recognition due to SLPs in light of their training and expertise,” said Jodi de la Torre, an SLP who assisted in compiling the data needed to support the effort. Teamwork among the union, district, school board, and SLPs in the Miami-Dade County was a critical factor in the victory.
Esther McVoy contributed to the story. For more information about the Miami-Dade County Public Schools salary supplement, contact her at emmcvoy@aol.com.
0 Comments
Submit a Comment
Submit A Comment
Name
Comment Title
Comment


This feature is available to Subscribers Only
Sign In or Create an Account ×
FROM THIS ISSUE
May 2006
Volume 11, Issue 6