News Story

Teachers Can Choose To Do More Than Just Teach - And Get Paid More

Yet the union says teachers are walking out because of the extras

The union that represents teachers at Ann Arbor Public Schools recently posted an article from a national blog titled, “Why Teachers Are Walking Out.”

The union local cut and pasted a quote that included this:
“Pay for it yourself.
Create it yourself.
Stay late and put on that function yourself.
Meet during your time.
Work during your weekend.”

The implication is that Ann Arbor’s teachers do a lot of uncompensated work.

A review of the district’s union contract challenges that notion, however. Each year in Ann Arbor schools (and in most other schools around the state), union contracts prescribe extra compensation for teachers. That compensation, which can amount to thousands of additional dollars, are for teachers who accept specific additional assignments, responsibilities or supervisory duties, such as monitoring students during lunch periods.

For example, in response to an open records request, the district provided documents showing that one teacher’s base salary was $47,109 in the 2015-16 school year. But the total compensation paid to this teacher came to $52,370, according to records maintained by the state Office of Retirement Services.

The difference between the two amounts exists because the teacher earned an extra $5,261 for taking on various other responsibilities and duties. In the previous year, this teacher made an extra $1,854 for working security and being a monitor, and an extra $706 for filling in as a teacher’s aide.

The collective bargaining agreement stipulates numerous ways teachers can earn more money, sometimes even when they aren’t even working in the role of a teacher.

For example, Ann Arbor teachers can miss up to 10 days of school and not receive a financial penalty if they are elected or appointed to a part-time position with any governmental agency, such as city council or county board. Business involving the teachers union does not count toward the 10-day limit.

Teachers also get an “overage payment” if a class exceeds a specified number of students. That payment is $341 per student over the limit per semester.

Teachers who help out with the district’s orientation program and report to work before the end of the summer break must be paid at their regular daily rate.

Teachers who agree to supervise lunch are paid for an additional 60 minutes of work, based on their daily rate.

Teachers who work in different school buildings are reimbursed for their travel within the district.

For example, if a teacher worked at both Huron and Pioneer high schools, he or she is reimbursed for driving the roughly 5.4 miles distance between the schools.

Teachers can also work five hours a day at a slightly reduced hourly rate by teaching classes in the summer.