News Story

Average Comstock Teacher Receives $53,756 in Salary, Contributes Just 5 Percent for Health Plan

Under the Comstock Public Schools teachers union contract, the average teacher salary was $53,756 in 2009. In addition, the district provides health benefits costing  $16,452 for the most commonly selected plan, which is 59 percent more costly than insurance provided to the average private sector worker in Michigan. Teachers contribute 5 percent toward their coverage,  compared to a 20 percent average contribution required from private sector workers in Michigan.

Many Lake Orion teachers collect substantially more than the average salary – as much as $63,550 for those at the top end who have accumulated additional pedagogy credentials and have more than five years on the job. The minimum salary was $43,577 for those meeting these criteria, which are the only criteria for setting teacher pay, since student performance is not considered.

Employees covered under the union contract receive automatic “step” pay hikes of around 5 percent for each additional year on the job until they “top out” on the salary schedule. Coaching and accepting duties in more than 50 extracurricular programs draws additonal amounts ranging from $330 to $7,354  annually. Also, 28 different department chairpersons receive an extra $325 annually. Teachers who announce their retirement before March 1 collect another $2,000.

In addition to the health coverage described above, the district provides dental and vision insurance. Employees who opt-out of the regular insurance because they’re covered under a spouse’s plan still get these additional benefits, plus an additional “cash-in-lieu-of” payment that was $550 in 2009.

Based on the current state-run teacher pension system, a Comstock teacher retiring after 30 years will get a $27,639 annual pension (based on the final “step” on the salary schedule), which they can begin collecting from their early 50s on. . This amount increases by 3 percent each year. Retired teachers also get subsidized health insurance.

Comstock schools collected $11,751 per student in property tax levies, state and federal grants in 2008-2009, of which around 70 percent was paid out to employees covered by the union contract described here.

Michigan Capitol Confidential is the news source produced by the Mackinac Center for Public Policy. Michigan Capitol Confidential reports with a free-market news perspective.