Long Term Pay Rate Increase Rescinded by MMSD
Last fall, during Handbook discussions, the District agreed to adjust the long-term pay rate for substitute teachers as it has slipped relative to surrounding districts. For over a decade, the long term pay rate has been based on Track 1, Level 4 of the teacher salary schedule and the District agreed to increase it to Track 1, Level 6. This rate was initially negotiated based on a first-year teacher’s salary since long-term assignments have more responsibilities than daily assignments; lesson planning, grading, communicating with other staff, parents, etc. Since 2010 the District has increased the starting level of first year teachers twice without adjusting the long-term rate for substitute teachers.
Last spring MTI bargained a base wage pay increase of 2.13% for all MMSD employees based on the cost-of-living index; the maximum allowable under Act 10. In June, despite formal disagreement from the USO-MTI Board of Directors and MTI Professional Staff, the Board rescinded the substitute long-term pay agreement in favor of the 2.13% cost-of-living increase for all employees. This was done for an estimated savings of $150,000 (on an annual budget of over $456 million). Although this increased the long-term rate to $185.17, it is $16.30 per day less than the rate that would have been had they stuck with their original agreement.
While this is disappointing news, the District’s 2018-19 budget is not yet finalized which gives us a little time to work on getting this adjustment reinstated. Furthermore, the USO-MTI Handbook Workgroup will continue to push for this increase during discussions for the 2019-20 Handbook.
Our first USO-MTI Membership Meeting is on Thursday, September 27 at MTI, starting at 4:15 PM. Please join the USO-MTI Board of Directors and your colleagues to determine how USO-MTI is going to collectively respond. Some of you have already written emails to the Board while others are urging more direct action to get this agreement reinstated.
If you have not, please consider writing the board encouraging them to reinstate this pay increase for the 2018-19 school year as they originally agreed. You can copy and paste their email addresses below.
If you write the board, consider these points:
- The long-term pay rate has not kept pace with the cost of living. Since 2010, it has only increased 4.2%.
- The beginning salary for first year teachers has increased 22% over the same period.
- Substitute teachers do not receive any additional step increase. Your wage increase is currently limited to the cost-of-living increase allowable under state law.
- Substitute teachers are in short supply as the job is getting more difficult with fewer benefits. Failing to keep up with the long-term pay rate will only exacerbate this problem.