compensation for 165 teachers in the Garden City Public Schools exceeded
$100,000 in 2009, and employees make zero contribution to the health insurance
provided them by the district, which for a family plan runs about $18,400.
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.
percent of the district's $49
million operating budget goes towards paying employees covered by this
contract, which covers teachers and a few other employee groups. Garden City
enrolls about 5,000 students and employs approximately 410 teachers. The
average salary for covered employees was $74,271
in 2009, plus benefits.
The base salary for most Garden City teachers is between $60,777
and $80,759. 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. Garden City teachers receive "step"
increases for their first 11 years in the district. These increases range from
three to eight percent. 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.
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 Garden
City teacher with 30 years experience and an average base salary of $80,759
(the final "step" on the salary schedule) would be $36,341. For most retirees, this amount
increases by 3 percent every year. An employee may begin collecting a
pension upon reaching age of 55, or younger if he or she has 30 years of
employment in public schools.
In addition to their state-provided pension, teachers in Garden
City get a severance package from the district. Teaches get the substitute
teacher daily rate for each accumulated leave day or $250 for each year in the
district beyond 10 years, whichever is greater.
All teachers are allotted 13 leave days per year, and can
accumulate an unlimited amount of them. The district allows for three personal
days per year as well. They also get unpaid leave time (one to two years) for child
care, holding public office, joining the Peace Corps, becoming a union official
or for any other purpose approved by the school board. Upon returning from leave, teachers are
guaranteed the opportunity to return to the same or an equivalent teaching
Working hours and conditions are also covered in the
contract. It defines the "work year" as 182 days, of which a maximum of 179 are
student instruction days. Each day measures seven hours and 20 minutes, which
works out to a total work year of 1,335 hours. The national average for all
occupations is 1,792. Each
school must have a vending machine for teacher use, and the district agrees to
maintain a 25:1 student to union member ratio.
The union contract includes extra bonus pay for additional
duties and certifications. Teachers can get $32 an hour for any and all
non-contractual labor. This includes supervising an athletic event, acting as a
department coordinator, teaching summer school or filling in during another
teacher's class period. High school
teachers that take on an extra class get an extra one-sixth of their salary per
year (based on the average salary this would be about $12,380).
Finally, 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 from the athletic-related positions that pay between $737 and $7,322
annually, there are nearly 30 different extracurricular positions that pay
between $441 and $3,840 each year.
A fully detailed analysis can be found here.
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