Cadillac Teacher Contract Summary

The average teacher salary in Cadillac Public Schools was $55,617 in 2009, and teachers contribute nothing to the cost of their health insurance. The district pays $220 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.

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About 65 percent of the district's $28 million operating budget goes towards paying employees covered by this contract, which covers teachers and a few other employee groups. Cadillac enrolls about 3,200 students and employs approximately 180 teachers. The district spent $9,369 per pupil in 2009, an increase of about 4 percent from the previous school year.

The base salary for most Cadillac teachers is between $41,412 and $65,173. 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. Cadillac teachers receive "step" increases for their first 10 years in the district. These increases range from 2 to 5 percent, with the last step producing a 12 percent pay hike. 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.

The district provides medical insurance without cost to teachers for $18,299 per year for a family plan. The state average for a family premium is $13,160, and employees average paying 21 percent, or $2,800 of this amount. The Cadillac plan features no annual deductible, $5 office co-pay and a $10/$20 RX plan. The district also pays for dental, vision, life and long-term disability, again with no cost to employees. This insurance costs an additional $1,734 annually for a family plan. Teachers are also paid between $7 and $280 per year if the district's insurance premiums increase by less than 7 percent annually.

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 Cadillac teacher with 30 years experience and an average base salary of $65,173 (the final "step" on the salary schedule) would be $29,328. 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. Upon retiring, teachers can cash out up 100 unused sick days at $110 a piece.

The union contract includes extra bonus pay for additional duties. Teachers can get a 20 or 25 percent bonus if they forgo a preparation period and teach an extra class (between $11,100 and $13,900 based on the average salary). For teaching a room of students that exceeds the class size limitations, teachers get $1,250, and get $600 per student for teaching an independent study course. The district pays between $16 and $24 per hour for duties outside of the contractual day.

The district also pays out stipends for 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 $698 and $7,134 annually, there are more 40 different extracurricular positions that pay between $100 and $6,540 each year.

All teachers are allotted 10 sick days per year, and can accumulate 100 of them. The district allows for 2-3 personal days and 6 bereavement days as well. Teachers may take unpaid leaves for one to two years for child care, medical care of a relative, 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 pays teachers for not using their sick days as an "attendance incentive." A teacher at the average salary level could make between $742 and $1,112 for not using more than 4 sick days.

Working hours and conditions are also covered in the contract. It defines the "work year" as 185 days. Teachers are contractually obligated for 6 hours and 45 minutes per day, which works out to a total work year of 1,249 hours. The national average for all occupations is 1,792. Employees may not teach for more than 5 hours and 25 minutes, although this may vary by 3 minutes without a violation of the contract.

A fully detailed analysis can be found here.