Ambri: Scottsdale Education Association survey illustrates teacher morale

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On behalf of the Scottsdale Education Association, I want to personally thank the more than 900 SUSD employees who took part in our organization’s recent survey. Your feedback is important to the school district and the community.

While the survey included nurses, librarians, counselors and therapists, nearly 83% of the respondents were classroom teachers.

Exactly one-third of the total participants have worked in SUSD five or less years. The remainder of the respondents was almost equally divided between being employed by SUSD from 6-10 years, 11-15 years, 16-20 years and 21+ years.

All subjects participated in the survey voluntarily.

SUSD workplace morale is generally good. When asked to estimate the morale at the school where they work, approximately 64% said it was consistently positive or mostly positive. In a follow-up question, 75% of respondents ranked their personal workplace morale as consistently positive or mostly positive.

Participants were also asked if they feel professionally respected. When asked if they feel “valued and respected as a professional by the administration” on their campus, 46% strongly agreed. Nearly 41% said they agreed.

That positivity dipped when respondents were asked it they feel “valued and respected as a professional by the administration” at the school district. Only about 12% strongly agreed and 57% agreed.

Given the disrespectful treatment of teachers by SUSD’s former superintendent Denise Birdwell and her administration --- which included discontinuing the school district’s relationship with the Scottsdale Education Association --- respondents’ disconnect with the school district’s administration is not surprising.

It has been three years since the administration stopped recognizing SEA as the appointed negotiating agent for SUSD teachers. The Governing Board has yet to officially restore the school district’s professional relationship with our organization.

Returning the survey’s findings: Of the more than 900 respondents, 98% said they favor “an employment agreement that is mutually bargained by SEA and SUSD.”

Editor’s Note: Kris Ambri is the president of the Scottsdale Education Association and is a teacher at Copper Ridge.

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