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Negotiations Update

Questions and Answers Regarding Teacher Negotiations

What is the current status of negotiations?
Utica Community Schools and Utica Education Association are bargaining a successor agreement. The most recent contract expired on June 30, 2019. Utica Community Schools in late November took the necessary steps to request the services of a mediator as it continues to bargain with the association. This process has brought an experienced third party to work with negotiators to find a mutually acceptable solution.

What is the Board of Education’s position regarding the current negotiations?
The Board of Education negotiations team has been informally and formally in conversation with the UEA for a successor agreement to the current contract.  We have sought to find collaborative solutions that would resolve our financial differences. UCS is committed to the mediation process until an agreement is reached on a successor labor agreement.

The Board of Education and administration take seriously the legal obligation to be good stewards of taxpayer dollars.  We are committed to a financially responsible agreement and competitive compensation package that is sustainable for the school district’s long term future.   

Are proposals available for review?
The district has posted a description of a recent proposal made to the UEA at this . A video of a February 10 update to the Board of Education is available at this .

Who does the Utica Education Association represent?
The Utica Education Association (UEA) is the union representing the professional teaching staff who pay membership dues.

What is included in a contract?
Contracts include specific language regarding salary, benefits, terms of employment and working conditions.

How much money do taxpayers contribute toward the compensation of the UEA president?

The Utica Education Association president is a non-teaching position. The president’s total compensation of $153,917 is reimbursed by the Association in the amount of $52,814. The remaining $101,103 is paid by the general operating fund of the district. This is a collectively bargained special assignment under Article XIII D10.  
 
Is it true the union is working without a contract?
Although the contract expired July 1, 2019, UEA members are working under the provisions of the most recently negotiated agreement. Most provisions of the contract remain in effect until a new agreement is approved with the exception of elements under PA 54.

Salary Chart

How competitive is the UCS salary package?
The district’s teacher salary schedule is competitive both locally and nationally. As detailed in the chart above, during the most recent nine-year span, UCS teachers annually rank in the top 10 per average teacher salary for the State of Michigan. The most recent data available from the State of Michigan is for the 2018-2019 school year, which indicates UCS teachers ranks first in the state for districts of 2,500 students or more.
 
Is it true that the teachers have received wage increases in six of the past nine years?  
Yes, teachers have received increases in compensation through full or half-steps in six of the past nine years.  The last time an increase was negotiated into the teacher salary schedule was 2009-2010. However, eligible teachers have received step increases and half steps in six of the nine years since then. Teachers at the top of the salary scale have received off-schedule payments four times during those years.

What is a “step” or a “half step”?
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.

I have heard that UEA members have furlough days? Are they still in effect?
Furlough days are no longer in effect for teachers. Furlough days were previously part of administrative, clerical, skilled trades and teacher contracts. The furlough days are no longer in place.

I recently heard that the UEA filed an unfair labor practice against Utica Community Schools. How does that impact negotiations?
In this case, the school district is confident it has not violated any good faith bargaining.

Why does the district need a fund balance?  How is a fund balance used?  
A district fund balance is necessary to operate the district and pay staff salaries from the start of its fiscal year in July to the receipt of the first state aid payment in October. It costs nearly $1.5 million per day to operate Utica Community Schools. As noted above, the district must borrow funds and pay the associated interest costs if it does not maintain an appropriate fund balance.

What is the current fund balance?
During its most recent independent audit, the fund balance for Utica Community Schools was $28.6 million – or 10.6 percent of expenditures. The industry standard for school district is recommended at 15 percent.

What happens if a school district has a low fund balance?
School districts that have a fund balance below five percent of unrestricted revenue are placed into an “early warning” system that could result in the appointment of an emergency financial manager by the Michigan Department of Treasury. An Emergency Financial Manager would have the complete authority to make budget reductions, including making unilateral changes to existing bargaining agreements.

Where can I get additional information?

The district also has posted other relevant materials on its website:

-Fiscal Audit
-UEA and all employee contracts
-2019-2020 budget


欧洲杯在线投注 February 28, 2020