The average teacher salary in the Mona Shores Public Schools was $58,544 in 2009, and employees are not required to contribute anything to health insurance policies that cost the district some $12,800 annually. These are among the highlights in the current collective bargaining agreement negotiated between the district and the local arm of the Michigan Education Association union.

About 67 percent of the district's $34 million operating budget goes toward paying employees covered by this contract, which covers teachers and a few other employee groups. Mona Shores enrolls about 2,800 students and employs approximately 170 teachers.

The base salary for most Mona Shores teachers is between $49,184 and $71,464. How much an individual actually gets is determined by a single salary schedule that grants automatic pay raises based solely on years on the job plus additional pedagogy credentials. Teachers are granted "tenure" after four years on the job, and once tenured, are evaluated once every three years, but neither these evaluations nor the performance of their students affect how much they are paid.

Mona Shores teachers receive "step" increases for their first 12 years in the district. These increases range from two to nine percent, and are in addition to the two percent "across-the-board" annual salary increase. District teachers also get annual longevity payments that add $757 (15 to 19 years), $1,515 (20 to 24 years) or $2,272 (25 or more years).

School employees receive a lifetime pension when they retire, and also expect to get lifetime post-retirement health benefits. Based on the state-run retirement system's formula, the starting pension for a Mona Shores teacher with 30 years experience and an average base salary of $71,464 (the final "step" on the salary schedule) would be $32,159. For most retirees, this amount increases by 3 percent every year. An employee may begin collecting a pension upon reaching age 55, or younger if he or she has 30 years of employment in public schools.

In addition to their state-provided pension, teachers in Mona Shores get a severance package equivalent to $1,000 for each year in the district (with a maximum of $12,500). The district also provides an annual payment of $1,750 or $3,000 for retirees to use on their portion of their retiree health care premiums, and puts $250 per year in a 403(b) account for every teacher. They also get $500 for notifying the district of their retirement by a certain date.

The union contract includes extra bonus pay for additional duties and certifications. Teachers can get anywhere between $1,000 to $5,000 for taking on an "oversized" class, as defined by the contract. Athletic event coordinators get between $5,875 and $7,385 per year, and a teacher taking on guidance counselor duties nets another $2,652. Teacher "mentors" and those participating in the "professional recognition program" get between $378 and $758 per year.

Teachers can earn extra cash by coaching or participating in other extracurricular activities, such as band, drama, yearbook, intramurals, student clubs and many others. Aside the 80 different athletic-related positions (which pay between $1,136 and $7,385 annually), there are nearly 30 different extracurricular positions that pay between $1,137 and $6,060 each year.

All teachers are allotted 10 sick days per year, and can accumulate an unlimited amount of them. Upon retiring, they will get $15, $20 or $25 per unused sick day, depending on how many they've kept. The district allows for three personal days per year as well. Teachers also get paid leave time for jury duty, conferences and conventions, and professional visitation days. Upon returning from leave, they are guaranteed the same or equitable teaching position.

Finally, the union contract also covers working hours and conditions. It defines the "work year" as 183 days, of which a maximum of 180 are student instruction days. Each day measures about seven and one-half hours, which works out to a total work year of 1,350 hours. The national average for all occupations is 1,792. Teachers may not be required to attend more than two after-school meetings (such as parent-teacher conferences), and the district must pay $30 an hour for additional meetings beyond the school day.

Read the fully detailed analysis of the Mona Shores contract here.