percent of the Saline Area School's annual $53
million operating budget goes toward paying employees covered by its
bargaining agreement for teachers and a few other employee groups. (The
budget figure does not include debt-service payments on past construction
projects.) Yet few people know what is in this or other school labor contracts.
This description of Saline's is part of an ongoing series.
Saline Area Schools enrolls about 5,400 students and employs about 326 teachers. Teacher salaries are determined by a single salary schedule
that creates automatic raises based solely on an employee's years on the job
plus additional pedagogy degrees. Although teachers' performance is evaluated
once every three years, the evaluations and the performance of their students
do not affect the amount they are paid.
Saline teachers get automatic annual pay raises ranging from
4 to 7 percent as they progress through the time-on-the-job "steps" of the
salary schedule. In addition to these step increases, all teachers receive a
2.5 percent pay increase as the entire salary schedule grows by that amount
each year. The vast majority of teachers in Saline make a base salary
that's between $63,331 and $79,089. The average teacher salary was $68,615
The district pays the entire cost of employee health
insurance benefits. For a family plan, the cost is $13,634
per teacher per year. The statewide average cost for employer-provided health care coverage is $11,300 per
employee for a family plan, with the employee picking up 22 percent of that
Teachers choosing not to enroll district's medical plan get
an annual $3,100 "cash-in-lieu" payment. The district also deposits $350 into a
Health Reimbursement Account for each teacher to use for additional medical
School employees are entitled to a lifetime pension
when they retire, and are also are given lifetime health benefits. Based
on the state-run pension system's multiplier, the lifetime pension for a Saline
teacher with 30 years of experience and an average base salary of $79,089 (the
final "step" on the single salary schedule) would be $35,590. The district also
invests $1,200 annually into a tax-sheltered annuity for each teacher who has
more than 15 years on the job, and $600 for all others. Teachers can also
receive up to $3,000 upon retirement for unused sick leave days, and may
qualify for a $7,000 supplemental retirement stipend. An employee may begin collecting
a pension immediately upon retiring after the age of 55 or after 30 years of work
in public schools.
The union contract also covers working conditions, like the
minimum number of days and hours teachers must be at school. Teachers are
required to be at school for 183 days out of the year, and 7.5 hours per day.
This amounts to 1,373 hours annually. The national average for all professions
is 1,792 hours over
the span of about 225 work days.
The union contract also includes bonus pay for additional
duties. Teacher "mentors" and "transition mentors" are paid $2,021 and $3,200
per year respectively. The 39 different department chairpersons can make up to
an additional $3,088 annually. Finally, teachers can earn extra cash by
coaching or participating in other extracurricular activities, such as band,
drama, yearbook, debate, student clubs and many others. There are nearly 100
different extracurricular positions available to teachers, which pay between $421
and $9,719 annually.
A fully detailed analysis can be found here. Other districts' contract are broken down here.
Permission to reprint this blog post in whole or in part is hereby granted, provided that the author (or authors) and the Mackinac Center for Public Policy are properly cited.