Admin
Negotiations Update

Dear UCS Community Member:

Over the past several months, there have been several stories in the media that have highlighted the district’s commitment to fiscal responsibility.  To provide  updates on this issue, the following information is being provided to the community. 

If you have any questions or comments at any time, please contact us at questions@uticak12.org.


Overview of $20.3 Million Teacher Salary Proposal

The district made a responsible and respectful offer to the teachers through collective bargaining after requesting a state-appointed mediator.

Key aspects of the proposal include:

  • The contract offer was for three years, extending through the 2021-2022 school year. 
  • All teachers would have received increased compensation as part of the offer. 

The district is committed to finding a financially responsible agreement with the union (Utica Education Association) representing the teachers and a compensation package that is sustainable for the school districts long term future. Since the proposal was rejected, the parties remain in mediation and continue working toward a successor agreement.  

A. Increased Compensation for All Teachers
Every teacher would have received additional compensation through accelerated step increases or an additional cash payment. 

B. Steps Explained
Within each lane there are twenty-eight steps, each representing an increase in annual salary.  Advancing a step for each year of experience is not guaranteed and is subject to the collective bargaining process. You can see an example of the salary schedule at this link.

Below is a series of informational overviews of the proposal. 

Specifically, the contract called for:

  • Step increases for eligible teachers. In addition to a full step each year, the agreement provided an additional half step during the first and third years of the contract.
  • One-time payments of $800 each year for employees who would have moved to steps that are not eligible for a wage increase.
  • An $800 increase on the salary schedule for steps 15 or above during the third year of the agreement.

Below are three examples of the financial impact of the offer, depending on the teacher’s experience and educational degree.

 Teacher A
 
 Teacher with Bachelor's Degree on Step 2
 
Notable Benchmarks Step  Salary
Current Step 2.0 $41,233
Year One Step 3.5 (+1.5 Step) $48,561*
Begin Year Two (2020-21) Step 4.5 (+1.0 Step) $51,723
Begin Year Three (2021-22) Step 5.5 (+1.0 Step) $54,496
Mid-Year Adjust January 2022 Step 6.0 (+0.5 Step) $55,746**
 
Overall Increase
$14,513 or 35.2%

*Year One is 2019-2020 which is already in progress, therefore the increase would have been prorated based on ratification date.
**Year Three is 2021-2022 - mid-year step increase would have been prorated based on effective date; this would also be the starting salary for the 2022-2023 school year. 

 

 Teacher B
 
 Teacher with Master's Level Degree on Step 6.5
 
Notable Benchmarks Step  Salary
Current Step 6.5 $64,912
Year One Step 8.0 (+1.5 Step) $70,329*
Begin Year Two (2020-21) Step 9.0 (+1.0 Step) $74,734
Begin Year Three (2021-22) Step 10.0 (+1.0 Step) $78,527
Mid-Year Adjust January 2022 Step 10.5 (+0.5 Step) $82,041**
 
Overall Increase
$17,129 or 26.4%

*Year One is 2019-2020 which is already in progress, therefore the increase would have been prorated based on ratification date.
**Year Three is 2021-2022 - mid-year step increase would have been prorated based on effective date; this would also be the starting salary for the 2022-2023 school year. 

 

 Teacher C
 
 Teacher with Master's Level Degree and Fifteen Additional Graduate Hours on Step 20.5
 
 Notable Benchmarks Step  Salary
Current Step 20.5 $91,006
Year One Step 22 (+1.5 step) $91,006*
 Begin Year Two (2020-21) Step 23 (+1.0 step) $91,806*
Begin Year Three (2021-22) Step 24 (+1.0 Step) $91,806
Mid-Year Adjust January 2022 Step 24.5 (+0.5 Step) $91,806
 
Overall Increase
 
$800 or 00.9%
Additional Cash Payment
of $1,600

*Designates year in which teacher would not be realizing an increase in salary through either the salary schedule and/or stepping. Compensated off-schedule (not shown) would have been $800 per year. 

 

Benefit packet remains unchanged in proposal

Approximately $61 million of the district’s operating funds currently go directly to the teachers benefit package, including FICA and Retirement. 

Teachers receive a comprehensive health care insurance plan with an annual deductible of $2,000 for individual and $4,000 for family. The package also includes competitive dental, vision, life insurance, disability, as well as retirement and FICA. 

The current average salary for a UCS teacher is $79,438. Combined with benefits, FICA and retirement, the total average cost for a UCS teacher is $121,832 annually.

Current Status

Both parties are working with a state-appointed labor mediator. UCS is committed to the mediation process until we are able to agree on a successor labor agreement. 

Utica Community Schools has current contracts with seven of its eight bargaining groups. 

Step 2.0