Dispute over tutors’ pay roils Match Charter School

Jan 1, 2014 by

statue-face-palmMatch Charter School in Boston makes it clear: A year as one of its tutors is a lot of work.

“Think med school. Think military. Think your toughest semester in college,” according to a Q&A on the school’s website. “Corps members are virtually always ‘on-call’ to help students succeed academically.”

But a dispute over the minimal pay for long hours of public service offers a rare glimpse into labor unrest at a charter school, where workers usually make less than their peers in traditional public schools and rarely belong to a union. Questions about tutors’ pay come as programs like Match proliferate in such places as Denver, Houston, and Chicago, and as Boston public schools expand their own intensive tutoring efforts.

For years Match billed the year of tutoring volunteerism — nearly 10-hour school days and additional duties at night — as an opportunity to give back and gain a true sense of what it is like to work in an urban school. For their efforts, the tutors, who are mainly recent college graduates, were paid a $7,500 annual stipend and received free housing.

But in an abrupt switch last summer, after recruiting this year’s 153-member tutoring force, Match decided to make them paid employees, at $8 an hour, the state’s minimum wage.

‘We have improved our pay and benefit package to tutors over anything we promised them.’

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Tutors ended up seeing little of that increase in their pay checks because Match also decided to start charging them $5,500 annually for housing and stopped reimbursing them for health insurance.

via Dispute over tutors’ pay roils Match Charter School – Metro – The Boston Globe.

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