News Story

‘It’s Not Getting Better Here': Teacher On Life After Right-To-Work

But his pay is up $9,300 over five years

It’s not unusual for teachers who are active in their local union to exaggerate complaints about the overall level of compensation for public school employees

The latest example is from Port Huron Area School District teacher Patrick Connell.

The Michigan Education Association did a story on Connell’s efforts as a union organizer working to increase membership.

Connell gave this response when asked why she got involved in the union:

“I worked for one year in North Carolina—in a right-to-work state—in ’96. Came back and eventually saw the change in Michigan. Every year since 2010 I’ve increased my involvement in the union because it’s not getting better here.”

Connell made $58,494 in 2013-14. That salary includes extra pay for performing additional duties such as coaching a school sports team. Connell's total salary for 2018-19 was $67,888.

The MEA article also featured Ann Arbor Public Schools teacher Tierra Jackson, who is also active in her local union.

Jackson, who has been employed for eight years by the Ann Arbor district, saw her total salary increase from $49,217 in 2013-14 to $69,717 in 2018-19. This also includes any extra pay she may have collected for taking on optional duties. All told, her earnings are $20,500 higher over a five year period.

Editor's note: The original version of this story mistakenly attributed comments to Tierra Jackson.