News Story

Did This Teachers Union Call For Pay Cuts?

Teachers union alleges that teachers in Finland are paid more; they aren't

The Ann Arbor Education Association recently posted a Facebook meme that claimed that teachers in other countries made more money than their U.S. counterparts.

The meme posted on Oct. 9 by the teachers union portrays several countries having a conversation about schooling. America says it needs to improve its education system.

Finland responds, “Actually, we became one of the worlds’ best education systems by getting rid of homework and standardized tests – also, we pay our teachers better than you.”

Except, Finland does not pay its teachers better than their U.S. counterparts, and Ann Arbor public school teachers fare even better.

In Finland, the average salary in 2016 for teachers in grades K-8 was $48,796 while high school teachers were paid $55,020, according to the Organization for Economic Cooperation and Development (OECD).

The OECD had the U.S. average salary that year at $54,000 for K-8 teachers and $55,992 for high school teachers.

Michigan teacher salaries are higher than the national average. The average teacher salary in Michigan in 2016-17 was $62,280; for Ann Arbor Public Schools teachers, the average was $78,545. Both numbers come from the Michigan Department of Education.

An average Ann Arbor Public Schools teacher made 43 percent more than the average high school teacher in Finland and 61 percent more than Finland’s average K-8 teacher.

One Ann Arbor Public School teacher responded to the Facebook post with a “wow” emoji. That teacher’s salary in 2016-17 was $84,554, or over $29,000 more than the average high school teacher in Finland.

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.