The average teacher salary in Charlotte Public Schools
in 2009, and most teachers paid less than 2 percent of the cost of their health
insurance premium. The district also pays between $300 and $500 per month to
employees for simply not enrolling in the school health insurance plan. 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 $25
million operating budget goes towards paying employees covered by this
contract, which covers teachers and a few other employee groups. Charlotte
enrolls about 5,000 students and employs approximately 410 teachers. The
district spent $9,333
per pupil in 2009, an increase of about 10 percent from the previous school
The base salary for most Charlotte
teachers is between $44,152 and $61,885. Teachers are paid much like assembly
line workers: how much an individual actually gets is determined by a single
salary schedule that grants automatic pay raises based only on years on the job
plus additional pedagogy credentials. Charlotte teachers receive
"step" increases for their first 11 years in the district. These increases
range from 4 to 10 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 Charlotte
teacher with 30 years experience and an average base salary of $61,855 (the
final "step" on the salary schedule) would be $27,848. 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. The district also pays teachers $3,000 for if they announce
their plan to retire by January 15.
The union contract includes extra bonus pay for additional
duties and certifications. Teachers can get $18.53 an hour for any and all
non-contractual labor. This includes "all time spent after the regular school
day at any parent or student activity or attendance at any educational or civic
functions..." The pays this same wage rate to teachers who supervise lunchrooms
or substitute in a classroom.
Teachers can earn extra cash by coaching and
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 $1,323 and $8,468 annually, there
are more 50 different extracurricular positions that pay between $100 and $8,956
All teachers are allotted 10 sick days per year, and can
accumulate 110 of them. The district allows for 2 personal days and 5
bereavement days per year as well. Teachers may take unpaid leaves for one to
two years for child care, holding public office, joining the Peace Corps, continued
study, personal illness or 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
position. The district also offers sabbatical leave for experience
teachers of up to 1 year at half pay with full benefits.
Finally, Working hours and
conditions are also covered in the contract. It defines the "work year" as 177
days, of which a maximum of 172 are student instruction days. Each day measures
seven hours and 15 minutes, which works out to a total work year of 1,230
hours. The national average for all occupations is 1,792.
A fully detailed analysis can be found here.
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