Success Story: Salary Increase for Additional Work
Frank Cirrin, SLP
Minneapolis Public Schools, MN
About Frank's path to success:
What did you do?
Several years ago, the teachers in my district who had
achieved National Board for Professional Teaching Standards
(NBPTS) certification were awarded a lane increase on the teacher
salary schedule that resulted in a $1,550 increase in pay.. Our
speech-language pathologists (SLPs) wanted our ASHA Certificate
of Clinical Competence (CCC) to be recognized as equivalent to
the national certification for classroom teachers.
What were your greatest challenges?
Despite the fact that we had provided a side-by-side
comparison of NBPTS and ASHA certification, and used ASHA's
guidebook on state salary supplements to help document equivalent
training and rigor, we were unable to convince the district that
the two certificates were comparable. We also tried collaborating
with district occupational therapists, physical therapists, and
school psychologists to suggest contract language that would be a
fair solution, but this action was also unsuccessful.
Our situation changed in 2000 when our district began billing
Medicaid for SLP services. Minnesota required ASHA CCC or
equivalent for 3
party billing. This was our opportunity to pursue a salary
increase for our national certification.
What advice would you give others?
Our special education administrators were convinced that a
salary increase, based on the amount of work associated with 3rd
party billing and the financial benefit to the district, was
warranted. They worked with the union to broaden the language of
a Memorandum of Agreement (MOA) related to National Board
Certified Teachers to include other professionals with advanced
national certification involved in 3rd party billing. Once our
union and administration determined how much they would gain by
having ASHA- certified SLPs participate in Medicaid billing, they
agreed to provide a salary schedule change equivalent to that for
National Board Certified Teachers. (See
Memorandum of Agreement and Application for Pay Lane Change
[PDF] based on National Certification)
Our district SLPs are satisfied with recognition of their
advanced certification (CCC) and pleased with the monetary award.
District SLPs feel empowered to continue to advocate for change
and are currently focusing their advocacy efforts on