Topic:
COLLECTIVE BARGAINING; SCHOOL DISTRICTS; STATISTICAL INFORMATION; TEACHERS; WAGES;
Location:
TEACHERS - COMPENSATION;

OLR Research Report


November 13, 2008

 

2008-R-0616

TEACHER SALARY INCREASES AND PERFORMANCE

By: Judith Lohman, Chief Analyst

You asked for (1) the percentage salary increases teachers have received through binding arbitration since 2005 and (2) the number of tenured teachers school districts have dismissed for poor performance over the past five years.

This report updates data from OLR Report 2003-R-0237.

SUMMARY

From 2005 through the date of this report, a total of 375 teacher and school administrator contracts have been finalized. The vast majority (85%) were resolved in the negotiation or mediation phase of the collective bargaining process under the Teacher Negotiation Act (TNA). Fifty-six contracts went to binding arbitration, but the parties settled 32 by stipulated agreements before arbitrators issued rulings. Thus, during the three most recently completed TNA negotiation cycles, plus the negotiations completed so far for 2008-2009, arbitrators have issued a total of 24 awards covering teacher and school administrator salaries in 23 school districts. Arbitration proceedings are currently underway on seven contracts.

The average general wage increases arbitrators awarded are: 2.8% for 2006-07, 1.96% for 2007-08, 2.65% for 2008-09, 2.92% for 2009-10, and 3.06% for 2010-11.

The teacher negotiation and binding arbitration information in this report comes from the State Department of Education's (SDE) annual Listing of Negotiations and Settlement Status and from copies of binding arbitration awards for 2005-06, 2006-07, and 2007-08 on file at the SDE's offices.

Of the 42 school districts responding to an e-mail survey, six reported dismissing a total of 30 tenured teachers for performance reasons in the past five years. Six additional districts report separating at least 15 teachers short of explicit termination based on performance during the same period.

SALARY INCREASES AWARDED IN BINDING ARBITRATION

Contract Settlement Method

Since 2005, most teacher and school administrator contracts have been resolved through negotiations or mediation. Only a small number of contracts were submitted to arbitrators and an even smaller number resulted in arbitration awards. Arbitrators decided 4.7% of the teacher and school administrator contracts negotiated in 2005-06; 8.3% of those negotiated in 2006-07; and 9.7% of those negotiated in 2007-08.

Table 1 shows the number of contracts resolved at each step in the TNA process in the past three years.

Table 1: Contract Settlements 2005-06 to 2007-08

Number Settled at Each Stage

 

2005-06

2006-07

2007-08

TOTAL

Negotiation

30

29

36

95

Mediation

58

62

50

170

Stipulated arbitration award

14

8

7

29

Binding arbitration – First panel

5

9

10

24

Binding arbitration – Review panel

0

0

0

0

Total

107

108

103

318

For 2008-09, 57 of 96 contracts (59%) have been settled as of November 17, 2008, none by arbitration (three arbitration awards were stipulated). Of the 39 contracts yet to be settled, seven are in arbitration (18% of the total).

General Wage Increases Awarded

From 2005 through November 2008, arbitrators issued 24 awards deciding teacher and school administrator salary issues. Table 2 shows the percentage increase in general wages teachers and administrators received for each of the years covered by those awards. General wage increases apply “across the board” and exclude increment or “step” increases employees receive as they move up a given salary schedule. Administrator awards are marked with an “A.”

Table 2: Teacher Annual Salary Increases

Arbitrator Decisions - 2005-2008

Negotiation

Year

District

Contract Years

2006-07

%

2007-08

%

2008-09

%

2009-10

%

2010-11

%

2005-06

Cheshire

2.8

2.22

2.34

   

Meriden

3.0

2.3

2.5

   

New London

2.5*

reopen

reopen

   

Tolland (A)

2.99

3.9

2.99

   

West Hartford

2.7

2.4

3.0

   

2006-07

Brookfield (A)

 

3.0

3.5

3.5

 

East Granby

 

2.47

2.76

2.99

 

East Hartford

 

0

2.75

3.0

 

Hamden

 

1.0

2.75

2.99

 

Manchester

 

2.0

2.9

2.9

 

Manchester (A)

 

2.25

2.5

2.75

3.25

North Haven

 

3.0

2.25

2.75

 

Stafford

 

1.5

2.55

2.65

 

West Haven (A)

 

1.41

1.91

2.84

2.77

2007-08

Avon

   

2.2

3.1

2.4

East Windsor

   

2.7

3.0

3.25

Greenwich

   

2.8

reopen

reopen

Milford

   

**

**

2.09**

Monroe

   

2.71

3.3

2.99

Newtown (A)

   

3.2

3.75

3.4

Plainville (A)

   

4.5

4.5

4.5

Region 13

   

2.47

2.4

2.88

Tolland

   

3.2

3.1

3.1

Winchester

   

2.5

3.0

3.0

* New London: This award also included no salary step movement for 2006-07.

**Milford: The award does not include any break down of the general wage increase and the increments for the first two years of the contract. The total of general and increment salary increases for the three years are 4.8% for 2008-09, 4.85% for 2009-10, and 4.9% for 2010-11.

TENURED TEACHER DISMISSALS

At our request, the Connecticut Association of Boards of Education (CABE) surveyed school superintendents by e-mail about the number of tenured teachers dismissed for poor performance in the past five years. Of the 42 districts that responded, six reported dismissing a total of 30 tenured teachers for poor performance or incompetence during the past five years. Of this number, more than half were terminated by a single district: Waterbury (see Table 3). Six additional districts reported either dismissing nontenured teachers for performance reasons or allowing or successfully counseling tenured teachers to resign instead of being dismissed (see Table 4).

According to the most recent available SDE data, 35,504 full-time regular education and 6,517 full-time special education teachers were employed in Connecticut public schools in October 2006.

Table 3: Districts Reporting Performance-Related Dismissals of Tenured Teachers Since January 1, 2003

District

Tenured Teachers Terminated

Killingly

7

Plymouth

2

Stafford

2

Wallingford

2

Waterbury

16

Wilton

1

Table 4: Districts Reporting Other Types of Performance-Related Teacher Separations Since January 1, 2003

District

Number of Teachers

Explanation / Comments

East Hampton

1

Dismissed for not following rules.

Fairfield

Not specified

Several have been “counseled out.”

Farmington

7

Resigned prior to nonrenewal recommendation.

Norwalk

Not specified

All termination proceedings resulted in settlement agreements and resignations.

Region 18

Not specified

Several have been “coached out.”

Seymour

7

These tenured teachers have left Seymour due to performance issues but none were ever brought to a termination hearing. We made settlement agreements with four teachers because it was cheaper than moving for termination and three teachers resigned after being placed on the assistance phase of the teachers' evaluation plan.

Source: CABE e-mail survey, November 3-12, 2008

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