In a recent newspaper article, the superintendent of the Fowlerville school district said: “There are no employees are [sic] getting raises. Every position in the district, from mine on down, has taken concessions.”

To those not familiar with the public school bureaucracy’s jargon, this may sound like no employees in that district will get an increase in their salary. That’s not the case. The tip-off comes in the next line: “We do have contractual obligations that have step increments that occur at various times.”

In other words, no employees are getting raises, except the employees who are getting raises.

Stay Engaged

Receive our weekly emails!

Here’s how it works. In unionized public schools, there are three kinds of pay raises: “across-the-board,” “step” and “lane.” The first describes increases that are periodically given to all employees under the terms of a union contract.

“Step” and “lane” increases are automatically given to particular employees for racking-up another year on the job (“step”), or acquiring another academic credential (“lane”). In many cases, even if employees get no “across-the-board” increase, they still receive their “step” and “lane” pay bumps.

As demonstrated by the superintendent’s quotes above, many of those immersed within the public school bureaucracy take those “step” and “lane” pay hikes for granted, treating them as virtual entitlements.

This is why pay freezes in the unionized public school world don’t mean the same thing as pay freezes in the real world.


Related Articles:

State, National Media Report on MEA Opt Out

Checking the Facts

Media Coverage of Center's Latest Lawsuit

BEA President Unsure What Her Contract Says



Stay Engaged

Simply enter your email below to receive our weekly email:


The State of Michigan claims the tens of millions of dollars it spends each year advertising the tourism industry brings in needed tax dollars, but the industry fails to show the data. The Mackinac Center for Public Policy devised a study and found that for every dollar spent, only two cents comes back to the state, and only to a select segment of the tourism industry.

Related Sites