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

In 2009, the vast majority of teachers in the Traverse City Area Public Schools received a base salary between $45,355 and $67,973, with an average of $56,742. The district also pays $14,631 annually for employee health insurance plans, toward which teachers contribute $87.50 per month, or 7 percent. This contrasts with the statewide average cost in the private sector for an employer-provided family plan of $11,300, with employees picking up 22 percent of that amount.

In addition, the local union president is granted a full teacher's salary and benefits, with no teaching or other school duties required.

These are among the highlights of the current collective bargaining agreement for teachers and a few other employee groups. The school board agreed to the contract after bargaining with professional negotiators employed by the Michigan Education Association. About 67 percent of the $88 million annual operating budget for the district of 10,200 students and 585 teachers goes toward employee compensation. (The budget figure doesn't include debt service payments on past construction projects.)

Teacher salaries are determined by a single salary schedule that grants automatic pay raises determined solely by years on the job, plus additional pedagogy credentials. They're granted tenure after four years on the job, and once tenured, they are evaluated once every three years, but neither these evaluations nor the performance of students affect how much a teacher gets paid.

TCAPS teachers get automatic annual pay raises between 3 and 9 percent as they progress through the time-on-the-job "steps" of the salary schedule. All teachers, regardless of their position on the step schedule, receive a 2 percent pay increase each year as the entire salary schedule grows by that amount. Additional salary boosts of 1 to 3 percent occur after a teacher's 14th, 17th, 19th and 20th year on the job.

Employees covered by the collective bargaining agreement are allotted 10 annual sick days, eight bereavement days and two personal leave days, and can accumulate up to 150 unused days. Upon retirement, covered employees receive up to $5,500 for the unused sick days. In addition, $300 is given annually to teachers who do not use any personal leave days. Teachers may take an unpaid leave of up to two years to "explore a possible career change."

The health insurance plans described above require no deductibles or office visit co-pays. The district also provides life, long-term disability, vision and dental insurance at no cost to employees. Employees choosing not to enroll in the district's medical insurance plan still get these other insurance benefits plus $217 per month.

School employees are entitled to a lifetime pension when they retire, and also expect to receive lifetime post-retirement health benefits. Based on the state-run retirement system's formula, the lifetime pension for a TCAPS teacher with 30 years on the job and an average base salary of $67,973 (the final "step" on the salary schedule) would be $30,587, which would then increase by 3 percent every year. An employee may begin collecting benefits upon reaching age 55, or younger if he or she has 30 years of employment in public schools.

The union contract also covers working hours and conditions. It defines the work "year" as 186 days, with each day consisting of 6 hours and 48 minutes. This adds up to 1,265 hours per year. The U.S. average is 1,792 hours.

Any additional activities draw extra pay, including between $1,200 and $3,500 per year for functions like "department facilitator" and "content leader," $22 per hour for attending "professional learning community meetings" and $10 an hour for recess duty. Coaching pays between $1,691 and $6,432 annually, and other extracurricular activities, such as band, drama, yearbook, intramurals, student clubs and dozens of different extracurricular positions draw down between $338 and $6,030. All these extras are on top of the base salary described above.

A complete breakdown and analysis of the bargaining agreement is below.

The current Traverse City Area Public Schools union contract that covers teachers as well as a few other employee groups is posted here

 

Salary Schedule

  • Base salaries are determined strictly by "steps," which use a matrix of years experience and graduate credit hours and degrees.
  • There of 13 "steps" on the schedule, meaning teachers get automatic 3 to 9 percent pay raises for their first 12 years in the district.
  • In addition to step increases, the entire salary schedule increases by 2 percent each year.
  • 72 percent of teachers have graduate degrees and 75 percent have more than 5 years experience, meaning the vast majority of teachers' base salary is between $45,355 and $67,973.
  • The Michigan Department of Education reported the average teacher salary in Traverse City in 2008-09 was $56,742.
  • Teachers also get step increases between 1 and 3 percent after their 14th, 17th, 19th, and 20th years in the district. 

Fringe Benefits

  • The district's current health insurance plan for teachers cost $14,631 per teacher.
  • Teachers contribute $87.50 per month to the cost of this premium, or about 7 percent.
  • The average family premium for a health plan in Michigan cost $11,300 in 2009, with employees contributing 22 percent ($2,500) of those costs.
  • This plan includes no annual deductibles or office co-pays and a $5/$10 RX plan.
  • Each teacher who does not enroll in a medical insurance plan gets $217 per month.
  • The district also provides at no cost to teachers dental, vision, life 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
  • Retirement eligibility: 30 years of service at age 46 or 15 years of service at age 55
  • Teacher contribution: 5.4 percent of salary
  • 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 Traverse City with base salary of $67,973 (final M.A. step): $30,587.85 (this amount increases by 3 percent every year)
  • Teachers are also paid one-half of their daily rate for each accumulated sick day they have upon retiring. This figure cannot exceed $5,500.

Bonus Pay for Additional Duties or Certification

  • One-half of tuition costs for continuing education credits are paid by district.
  • Teachers are paid $22/hr for attending "professional learning community meetings," that are 90-minute sessions occurring 6 times per year.
  • Attendance incentives are paid out based on how few leave days teachers use:
    • 0 = $300
    • 1 = $200
    • 2 = $150
    • 3 = $100
  • Additional class assignments pay one-fourteenth of a teacher's salary per semester ($4,053 based on average teacher salary)
  • Holders of vocational certificates get $300 extra per year
  • Teachers are reimbursed for all travel between buildings and to conferences and workshops
  • Mentor teacher for students: $1,200
  • Core Content Facilitators: $3,500
  • Special Education Facilitators: $3,500
  • Secondary Department Facilitators: $1,500
  • Elementary Content Leaders: $2,000
  • Elementary Special Education Facilitators: $2,000
  • Elementary Music Facilitators: $2,000
  • Elementary Department Facilitators: $1,750
  • Secondary Core Content Curriculum, Assessment and Instructional Leaders: $2,000
  • Elementary coaches are paid $20 for travel to away sporting events.
  • Mentor Teacher (for teachers): $1,000
  • Curriculum work:
    • $22/hr with students
    • $17/hr without students
  • Summer school compensation:
    • $20/hr or one-half of tuition paid by students
  • Recess duty: $10/hr

Leave/Sick Time

  • Union president gets between two-fifths and full release time from teaching duties to conduct union business without loss of salary or benefits.
  • Association business: Union gets 35 days of release time for teachers to conduct union business. (District pays substitution costs for 3 of these days)
  • Personal leave: 2 days
  • Sick leave allowance: 10 days
    • May accumulate to a maximum of 150 days
  • Family bereavement: 8 days
  • Sabbatical leave: one-half salary for one year
  • Unpaid leave:
    • Military service (no maximum time period)
    • Child care (one year)
    • Foreign exchange program (one year)
    • Peace Corps (one year)
    • Teacher Corps (one year)
    • Job Corps (one year)
    • Full-time study at university (one year)
    • "Cultural, travel or work program related to the teacher's professional responsibilities" (one year)
    • "Explore a possible career change" (one year)

Work Schedule/Environment

  • Contractual year: 186 days
    • 182 student instruction days
    • 2 teacher work days
    • 2 professional development days
  • Work day:
    • Elementary: 6 hours, 48 minutes
    • Secondary: 6 hours, 47 minutes
  • Total work year: 1,265 hours
  • National average for all occupations: 1,792 hours
  • No afterschool meetings may be held on Mondays or Fridays.
  • Class size overages:
    • A classroom aid is assigned to any class over the class size limit (25-33, depending on the grade level)
  • Preparation time:
    • Elementary: 210 minutes per week
    • Secondary: 1 regular class period per day
  • Duty-free lunch: 40 minutes

Extra Curricular Activities Compensation

 

 

 

 

Position

Min

Max

High School Sports

 

 

Baseball/Softball Varsity Head Coach

$3,381.30

$4,019.70

Baseball/Softball Varsity Asst Coach

$2,705.04

$3,215.76

Baseball/Softball 9th Grade Head Coach

$2,028.78

$2,411.82

Baseball/Softball 9th Grade Asst Coach

$1,690.65

$2,009.85

Basketball Varsity Head Coach

$5,410.08

$6,431.52

Basketball Varsity Asst Coach

$3,381.30

$4,019.70

Basketball 9th Grade Head Coach

$3,381.30

$4,019.70

Basketball 9th Grade Asst Coach

$2,705.04

$3,215.76

Beach Volleyball (Girls) Varsity Head Coach

$3,381.30

$4,019.70

Competitive Cheerleading Varsity Head Coach

$3,381.30

$4,019.70

Competitive Cheerleading Varsity Asst Coach

$2,366.91

$2,813.79

Sideline Cheerleading Varsity Head Coach

$3,381.30

$4,019.70

Cheerleading 9th Grade Head Coach

$2,366.91

$2,813.79

Cross Country Varsity Head Coach

$3,381.30

$4,019.70

Cross Country Varsity Asst Coach

$2,366.91

$2,813.79

Cross-Country Skiing (CO-ED) Varsity Head Coach

$3,381.30

$4,019.70

Cross-Country Skiing (CO-ED) Varsity Asst Coach

$2,705.04

$3,215.76

Downhill Skiing (CO-ED) Varsity Head Coach

$3,381.30

$4,019.70

Downhill Skiing (CO-ED) Varsity Asst Coach

$2,705.04

$3,215.76

Football Varsity Head Coach

$5,410.08

$6,431.52

Football Varsity Asst Coach

$3,381.30

$4,019.70

Football JV Head Coach

$3,381.30

$4,019.70

Football JV Asst Coach

$2,874.11

$3,416.75

Football 9th Grade Head Coach

$3,381.30

$4,019.70

Football 9th Grade Asst Coach

$2,705.04

$3,215.76

Football Equipment Manager

$1,690.65

$2,009.85

Golf Varsity Head Coach

$3,381.30

$4,019.70

Golf Varsity Asst Coach

$2,366.91

$2,813.79

Gymnastics (Girls) Varsity Head Coach

$3,381.30

$4,019.70

Hockey Varsity Head Coach

$3,381.30

$4,019.70

Hockey Varsity Asst Coach

$2,705.04

$3,215.76

Mentor Teacher for Students

$1,200.00

$1,200.00

Soccer Varsity Head Coach

$3,381.30

$4,019.70

Soccer Varsity Asst Coach

$2,705.04

$3,215.76

Soccer 9th Grade Head Coach

$2,028.78

$2,411.82

Swimming Varsity Head Coach

$3,381.30

$4,019.70

Swimming Varsity Diving Coach

$2,366.91

$2,813.79

Swimming Varsity Asst Coach

$2,366.91

$2,813.79

Tennis Varsity Head Coach

$3,381.30

$4,019.70

Tennis Varsity Asst Coach

$2,366.91

$2,813.79

Tennis 9th Grade Head Coach

$2,028.78

$2,411.82

Track Varsity Head Coach

$3,381.30

$4,019.70

Track Varsity Asst Coach

$2,705.04

$3,215.76

Trainer (All Sports)

$5,071.95

$6,029.55

Volleyball (Girls) Varsity Head Coach

$3,381.30

$4,019.70

Volleyball (Girls) Varsity Asst Coach

$2,705.04

$3,215.76

Volleyball (Girls) 9th Grade Head Coach

$2,366.91

$2,813.79

Volleyball (Girls) 9th Grade Asst Coach

$2,028.78

$2,411.82

Wrestling Varsity Head Coach

$3,381.30

$4,019.70

Wrestling Varsity Asst Coach

$2,705.04

$3,215.76

Pep Club Advisor

$2,028.78

$2,411.82

     

High School Extracurricular

 

 

Yearbook Advisor

$2,028.78

$2,411.82

Newspaper Advisor

$2,028.78

$2,411.82

Video Club Advisor

$1,352.52

$1,607.88

Challenger Advisor

$676.26

$803.94

National Honor Society Advisor

$676.26

$803.94

S.I.U. Advisor

$676.26

$803.94

Thespians Advisor

$676.26

$803.94

Key Club Advisor

$676.26

$803.94

Varsity Club Advisor

$676.26

$803.94

Class Advisor Freshman

$1,014.39

$1,205.91

Class Advisor Sophomore

$1,014.39

$1,205.91

Class Advisor Junior

$1,014.39

$1,205.91

Class Advisor Senior

$1,014.39

$1,205.91

Student Senate Advisor

$1,690.65

$2,009.85

Drama and Musical Director

$1,014.39

$1,205.91

Ticket Manager

$3,043.17

$3,617.73

Debate Head Coach

$2,705.04

$3,215.76

Debate Asst Coach

$1,690.65

$2,009.85

Forensics Coach

$1,352.52

$1,607.88

Director of Vocal Music

$4,057.56

$4,823.64

Director of Bands

$5,071.95

$6,029.55

Assistant Director of Bands

$2,705.04

$3,215.76

Orchestra Director

$2,705.04

$3,215.76

Music Instructor with 1 Extra Music Activity

$1,014.39

$1,205.91

Music Director of Annual Musical

$1,014.39

$1,205.91

Auditorium Technical Advisor

$1,014.39

$1,205.91

Odyssey of the Mind Coach

$1,014.39

$1,205.91

Student Court Advisor

$2,028.78

$2,411.82

Model United Nations Advisor

$1,352.52

$1,607.88

Math Competition Coordinator

$1,014.39

$1,205.91

Quiz Bowl Coordinator

$1,014.39

$1,205.91

Technology Club Advisor

$1,014.39

$1,205.91

     

Middle School Sports

 

 

Basketball 8th Grade Head Coach

$2,366.91

$2,813.79

Basketball 8th Grade Asst Coach

$2,028.78

$2,411.82

Basketball 7th Grade Head Coach

$2,366.91

$2,813.79

Basketball 7th Grade Asst Coach

$2,028.78

$2,411.82

Cross Country (CO-ED) 7th/8th Grade Head Coach

$2,028.78

$2,411.82

Football 8th Grade Head Coach

$2,366.91

$2,813.79

Football 8th Grade Asst Coach

$2,028.78

$2,411.82

Football 7th Grade Head Coach

$2,366.91

$2,813.79

Football 7th Grade Asst Coach

$2,028.78

$2,411.82

Golf Coach

$2,028.78

$2,411.82

Track (CO-ED) 7th/8th Grade Head Coach

$2,028.78

$2,411.82

Track (CO-ED) 7th/8th Grade Asst Coach

$1,690.65

$2,009.85

Trainer (All Sports)

$3,043.17

$3,617.73

Volleyball (Girls) 8th Grade Head Coach

$2,028.78

$2,411.82

Volleyball (Girls) 8th Grade Asst Coach

$1,690.65

$2,009.85

Volleyball (Girls) 7th Grade Head Coach

$2,028.78

$2,411.82

Volleyball (Girls) 7th Grade Asst Coach

$1,690.65

$2,009.85

Wrestling 7th/8th Grade Head Coach

$2,366.91

$2,813.79

Wrestling 7th/8th Grade Asst Coach

$1,690.65

$2,009.85

     

Middle School Extracurricular

 

 

Newspaper

$1,690.65

$2,009.85

Vocal Director

$2,705.04

$3,215.76

Assistant Vocal Director

$1,014.39

$1,205.91

Band Director

$3,043.17

$3,617.73

Assistant Band Director

$1,352.52

$1,607.88

Music Instructor with 1 Extra Music Activity

$1,014.39

$1,205.91

Orchestra Director

$1,690.65

$2,009.85

Yearbook Advisor

$1,690.65

$2,009.85

Odyssey of the Mind Coach

$1,014.39

$1,205.91

Math Competition Coach

$1,014.39

$1,205.91

Math Club Advisor

$1,014.39

$1,205.91

National Honor Society Advisor

$676.26

$803.94

Student Council Advisor 8th Grade

$676.26

$803.94

Student Council Advisor 7th Grade

$676.26

$803.94

Technology Club Advisor

$1,014.39

$1,205.91

Teens Against Drugs Club Advisor

$1,014.39

$1,205.91

Theater Arts Director

$1,352.52

$1,607.88

     

Elementary School Sports

 

 

Basketball

$1,352.52

$1,607.88

Football

$1,352.52

$1,607.88

Gymnastics

$1,352.52

$1,607.88

Track

$1,352.52

$1,607.88

Volleyball

$1,352.52

$1,607.88

Choir

$1,014.39

$1,205.91

All City Orchestra

$1,014.39

$1,205.91

All City Assistant Orchestra Director

$676.26

$803.94

All City Band

$1,014.39

$1,205.91

Asst All City Band

$1,014.39

$1,205.91

     

Elementary School Extracurricular

 

 

Odyssey of the Mind Coach

$1,014.39

$1,205.91

Gifted/Talented Contact

$338.13

$401.97

Computer Contact

$338.13

$401.97

Building Instructional Unit Leader

$676.26

$803.94

 

 

Mackinac Center for Public Policy Director of Education Policy Audrey Spalding describes her latest study on right-to-work law violations in public school contracts and suggests why districts and unions are ignoring the law.


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