A news service for the people of Michigan from the Mackinac Center for Public Policy

Brighton Area Schools is one of only 32 Michigan districts currently operating with a budget deficit, even though it takes in more than $8,000 per pupil. According the Michigan Department of Education, the district overspent by 17 percent last year. A good place to start looking for ways to get out of the red would be the teachers union contract, since the costs contained therein consume almost 70 percent of the district's general funds.

The average teacher salary in Brighton Area Schools was $66,514 in 2009, the highest in Livingston County. The base salary for most Brighton teachers is between $56,352 and $78,130. Teachers are paid much like assembly line workers: individual pay is determined by a single salary schedule that grants automatic raises based only on years on the job plus additional pedagogy credentials. Brighton teachers receive "step" increases of 4 to 5 percent for their first nine or 10 years in the district. The final step increase on the salary schedule results in an automatic 13 percent jump in pay. In addition, the entire salary schedule grows by 1.125 percent each year.

Teachers are granted tenure after four years on the job. The district offers two different types of longevity payments: one grants them between $377 and $1,657 per year after their 16th year, and another adds between $250 and $1,750 to their pay each year after their 13th year.

A family health insurance plan for a teacher costs the district about 46 percent more than the average employer in the state. The district paid $15,064 for each employee in 2008-2009, with teachers chipping in $450 annually. The average employer contribution for a family premium in Michigan is $10,341, with employees paying $2,800 per year. The Brighton plan features no deductibles or co-pays and a $10/$20 prescription plan. Each teacher who does not enroll in the district's medical plan receives an additional $3,227 per year (plus dental, vision, life and long-term disability insurance).

School employees receive a lifetime pension when they retire, and also expect lifetime post-retirement health benefits. Based on the state-run retirement system's formula, the starting pension for a Brighton teacher with 30 years experience and an average base salary of $78,130 (the current final "step" on the salary schedule) would be $35,159. For many retirees this amount increases by 3 percent every year. An employee may begin collecting a pension upon reaching the age of 55, or even younger if he or she has 30 years of employment in public schools.

The union contract includes bonus pay for additional duties. Teachers make $45 an hour when they sub for another teacher or have to instruct students during a designated preparation period. "Coordinators" get between $1,518 and $3,343 extra each year. Administering certain standardized tests pays between $1,569 and $3,173. If a secondary teacher takes on an additional class they get a bonus of one-fifth of his or her salary, and teachers with "oversized" classrooms get between $1,500 and $3,000 per extra student per year.

The district also pays out stipends for coaching and other extracurricular activities, such as band, drama, student clubs and others. These stipends increase by 2.25 percent each year. Aside from the more than 80 different athletic-related positions that pay between $912 and $8,695 annually, there are about 20 other extracurricular positions that pay between $448 and $6,802 each year.

Teachers are allotted 12 leave days per year that can be used for personal illness, illness in the immediate family or personal business. They can accumulate 120 of these. The district allows for five bereavement days as well. Teachers may take unpaid leaves for child care, extended personal illness, continuing education or any other district-approved purpose. Upon return, teachers are guaranteed the same or an equivalent teaching position.

Working hours and conditions are also covered in the contract. It defines the "work year" as 184 days and lists teachers' total hours at 1,101. The national average annual hours worked in all occupations is 1,768. Teachers may not instruct students for more than 5 hours and 30 minutes at the secondary level and 5 hours and 27 minutes at the elementary level each day.

The following is a detailed analysis of the current Brighton Area Schools union contract that covers teachers as well as a few other employee groups. The district employs about 400 teachers and enrolls 6,500 students. Of its $52 million operating budget, about 70 percent goes toward paying employees working under this contract.

Salary Schedule

  • Base salaries are determined strictly by “steps,” which use a matrix of years experience and graduate credit hours and degrees.
  • There are several “steps” on the schedule, resulting in most teachers getting automatic 4 to 5 percent pay raises for their first 9 or 10 years in the district.
  • The final step (11th or 12th, depending on a teacher’s college degree) on the salary schedule nets teachers an automatic 13 percent pay bump.
  • In addition to step increases, the entire salary schedule increases by 1.125 percent each year.
  • 60 percent of teachers have graduate degrees and 78 percent have more than 5 years experience, meaning the vast majority of teachers’ base salary is between $56,352 and $78,130.
  • The Michigan Department of Education reported the average teacher salary in Brighton in 2008-09 was $66,514.
  • Teachers also get two separate longevity payments:
    • “Longevity A:”
      • After 16 years, an annual stipend ranging from $377 to $1,657
    • “Longevity B:”
      • 13-15 years: $250
      • 16-20 years: $750
      • 21-25 years: $1,250
      • 26+ years: $1,750

Fringe Benefits

  • The district’s current health insurance plan for teachers cost $15,415 per teacher.
  • Teachers contribute $450 annually to the cost of this premium, or about 3 percent.
  • The average family premium for a health plan in Michigan cost $13,160 in 2009, with employees contributing 22 percent ($2,500) of those costs.
  • This plan most teachers choose includes no annual deductibles or co-pays and a $10/$20 RX plan.
  • Each teacher who does not enroll in a medical insurance plan gets $268.91 per month.
  • The district also provides at no cost to teachers dental, vision, life ($50,000) and long-term disability insurance.

Pension and Retirement Benefits

  • Every teacher participates in the state-run Michigan Public School Employee Retirement System, a defined-benefit lifetime pension system
  • Pension calculation: highest 3-year average compensation X 1.5 percent X years of service
  • After 55, subsidized medical, dental and vision insurance for life (employees never contribute more than 18 percent of premiums)
  • Annual pension based on 30 years experience in Brighton with base salary of $78,130 (final M.A. step): $35,159 (this amount increases by 3 percent every year)

Bonus Pay for Additional Duties or Certification

  • School Improvement Coordinator: $2,000
  • Coordinators: $1,518-$3,343
  • Target Goal Facilitators (3 per building): $1,250
  • MME Test Supervisor: $3,173
  • MME Back-up Test Supervisor: $1,569
  • MME Accommodations Coordinator: $2,597
  • Academic Co-Curriculars: $2,122
  • Secondary teacher instructing 6 classes instead of 5: 1/5 of salary ($13,303, based on average salary)
  • Teaching Saturday school: $12 per hour
  • Subbing for a regular class: $45 per hour
  • Teaching during prep hour: $45 per hour
  • “Imbalanced” class of more than two students at secondary level: $300 per student per semester
  • Teaching a class larger than maximum allowable size:
    • Elementary: $3,000 per student
    • Each specialist teacher: $200 per student
    • Secondary: $1,500 per class per student
    • Secondary: $750
  • Traveling within district from building to building pays IRS mileage rate
  • Tuition reimbursement:
    • $400 per year per member
  • District pays for lodging, meals and travel expenses for professional conferences.

Work Schedule/Environment

  • Contractual year: 184.5 days
  • Work day: 7 hours, 30 minutes
  • Total work year: 1,384 hours

o   Teacher hours: 1,101

o   Instructional hours: 1,060

  • National average for all occupations: 1,768 hours
  • Student contact and instructional time:

o   Secondary: 5 hours, 30 minutes

o   Elementary: 5 hours, 27 minutes

  • Elementary teachers receive two full days of release time due to a loss of 5 minutes of planning and conference time at the beginning of the day.
  • Staff meetings:
    • No more than two per month
    • Middle school meetings: One may be 30 minutes pass the contractual day and the other 15 minutes. Teachers get compensatory time for the 15 minute meeting.
  • Curriculum meetings: Maximum of one per month and must end by 3:30 p.m.
  • Planning and conference time:
    • Secondary teachers: 60 minutes per day
    • Elementary teachers: 90 minutes per day
  • Duty free lunch period: 30 minutes
  • Time travel between buildings: 5 minutes.
  • Maximum class size: 20-31 students, depending on grade and class type
  • Teachers will not be assigned to cafeteria or playground duty.
  • Classroom temperatures will be kept at 68 degrees (but may be changed anywhere from 61 to 75 degrees).

Leave Time/Sick Days

  • Leave days: 12 days
    • Used for personal or family illness and personal business
    • Maximum accumulation: 120 days
  • Bereavement: 5 days
  • Sabbatical: 1 year, maximum of one-half salary with full benefits
  • Union gets 20 days to use for leave time to conduct union business.
  • Unpaid leave:
    • Personal illness: 1 year (with benefits)
    • Maternity/child care: 119 work days
    • Adoption: 4 semesters
    • Exchange teacher: 1 year
    • Continuing education: 1 year
    • General: 1 year
    • Military leave

Extra Curricular Activities Compensation

These amounts increase by 2.25 percent each year

Position

MIN

MAX

Athletic Positions



Head Football

$8,189

$8,189

Asst. Varsity  Football

$5,500

$5,500

Asst. JV Football

$5,500

$5,500

Asst. 9th grade Football

$5,500

$5,500

Asst. Football

$3,374

$3,374

Head Volleyball

$6,744

$6,744

JV Volleyball

$4,368

$4,368

9th grade Volleyball

$4,368

$4,368

Asst. Volleyball

$2,679

$2,679

MS Volleyball 7th grade

$3,056

$3,056

MS Volleyball 8th grade

$3,056

$3,056

Head Girls Golf

$4,105

$4,105

Asst. Golf

$1,538

$1,538

Head Boys Soccer

$5,604

$5,604

JV Boys Soccer

$3,238

$3,238

9th grade Boys Soccer

$3,238

$3,238

Asst. Soccer

$3,238

$3,238

Head Boys Cross Country

$6,373

$6,373

Head Girls Cross country

$6,373

$6,373

HS Asst. Cross Country

$1,281

$1,281

MMS Cross Country

$2,805

$2,805

SMS Cross Country

$2,805

$2,805

Head Girls Swim & Dive

$6,551

$6,551

Asst. Girls Swim

$3,640

$3,640

Head Boys Tennis

$5,336

$5,336

JV Tennis

$2,732

$2,732

Head Cheerleading

$8,695

$8,695

JV Cheerleading

$5,945

$5,945

9th grade Cheerleading

$5,945

$5,945

MS Cheerleading 7th grade

$1,091

$1,091

MS Cheerleading 8th grade

$1,091

$1,091

Head Pom-Pon

$6,601

$6,601

Asst. Pom-Pon

$3,961

$3,961

Head Boys Basketball

$8,189

$8,189

JV Boys Basketball

$5,280

$5,280

9th grade Boys Basketball

$5,280

$5,280

HS Asst. Boys Basketball

$2,211

$2,211

MS Boys Basketball

$3,603

$3,603

MS Boys Basketball

$3,603

$3,603

Head Girls Basketball

$8,189

$8,189

JV Girls Basketball

$5,280

$5,280

9th grade Girls Basketball

$5,280

$5,280

HS Asst. Girls Basketball

$2,211

$2,211

MS Girls Basketball 7th grade

$3,603

$3,603

MS Girls Basketball 8th grade

$3,603

$3,603

Head Hockey

$5,724

$5,724

Head Boys Swim & Dive

$6,551

$6,551

Asst. Boys Swim & Dive

$3,640

$3,640

Head Wrestling

$6,741

$6,741

Asst. Wrestling

$4,368

$4,368

*Asst. Wrestling

$1,624

$1,624

MMS Wrestling

$2,647

$2,647

SMS Wrestling

$2,647

$2,647

Head Boys/Girls Ski

$4,368

$4,368

Asst. Boys/Girls Ski

$2,830

$2,830

MMS Boys/Girls Ski

$912

$912

SMS Boys/Girls Ski

$912

$912

MS Swim & Dive

$2,826

$2,826

Head Baseball

$6,741

$6,741

JV Baseball

$4,368

$4,368

9th grade Baseball

$4,368

$4,368

*Asst. Baseball

$2,679

$2,679

Head Softball

$6,741

$6,741

JV Softball

$4,368

$4,368

9th grade Softball

$4,368

$4,368

*Asst. Softball

$2,679

$2,679

Head Girls Track

$6,741

$6,741

Asst. Girls Track

$4,368

$4,368

Head Boys Track

$6,741

$6,741

Asst. Boys Track

$4,368

$4,368

Asst. Boys/Girls Track

$4,368

$4,368

MMS Boys Track

$3,056

$3,056

SMS Boys Track

$3,056

$3,056

MMS Girls Track

$3,056

$3,056

SMS Track Girls

$3,056

$3,056

Head Boys Golf

$4,105

$4,105

Asst. Golf

$1,538

$1,538

Head Girls Lacrosse

$4,601

$4,601

JV Girls Lacrosse

$2,556

$2,556

9th grade Girls Lacrosse

$2,556

$2,556

Head Girls Tennis

$5,336

$5,336

JV Girls Tennis

$2,732

$2,732

Head Girls Soccer

$5,604

$5,604

JV Girls Soccer

$3,238

$3,238

9th grade Girls Soccer

$3,238

$3,238

Asst. Soccer

$3,238

$3,238

Varsity Club

$1,823

$1,823

Specialized Service



HS Class Sponsor

$1,187

$3,492

Student Council

$1,084

$3,492

Elementary Choir

$2,073

$2,073

National Honor Society

$1,135

$1,135

Jr. National Honor Society

$621

$621

Drama:



Per approved production

$2,067

$2,067

MS Production

$621

$621

Forensics head coach

$2,901

$2,901

Forensics Asst. Coach

$579

$579

Debate head coach

$2,901

$2,901

Debate Asst. Coach

$579

$579

Other:



HS Band

$6,802

$6,802

HS Choir

$3,780

$3,780

MS Band

$3,590

$3,590

MS Choir

$2,073

$2,073

HS Yearbook

$2,945

$2,945

HS Newspaper

$2,945

$2,945

DECA

$2,066

$2,066

5th grade Camp

$448

$448

~~~~~

See also:

Huron Valley Teacher Contract Summary

Port Huron Teacher Contract: Summary and Analysis

Utica Teacher Contract: Summary and Analysis

Saline Teacher Contract: Summary and Analysis

Walled Lake Teacher Contract and Analysis

East Lansing Schools Union Contract

Wayne-Westland Teacher Contract: Summary and Analysis

Traverse City Teacher Contract: Summary and Analysis


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