Salt Lake City teachers today voted to ratify a 4.1% salary increase offered by school district officials.
An overwhelming number of teachers voted to ratify the tentative bargaining agreement that was finalized in July with help from a federal mediator, the Salt Lake Education Association said in a statement.
If approved by the district’s Board of Education, the salary increase will take Salt Lake City teachers’ starting salary from $45,000 a year to more than $46,000, making their pay the fifth highest in Utah.
“We applaud and recognize the work of the Board of Education and the school district to improve education in our schools,” James Tobler, the teacher union’s president, said. “We look forward to working with parents, the District, the Board, and other stakeholders to ensure we have a caring and committed teacher in every classroom.”
The raise is less than what teachers had asked for. In June, about 200 teachers crashed the Salt Lake City School District’s school board meeting, asking for a 6% raise.
It’s also lower than raises other Utah districts passed this year in an effort to keep their teacher salaries competitive. Canyons and Murray school districts are now paying new teachers $50,000 a year. The starting teacher salary at Jordan School District is about $48,000.
Park City School District did not raise pay this year, but offers a starting salary for teachers that remains the highest in the state at just over $50,000.
In July, a federal mediator came to help the Salt Lake City School District and its teachers’ union find middle ground. Although lower than what teachers had originally hoped for, the proposed raise preserves teachers’ current salary steps, which allows teachers to receive more money based on their level of experience and education. The agreement will also increase pay for teachers who cover for absentee substitute teachers.
The Salt Lake City School District’s Board of Education will vote on the proposed salary agreement at its Sept. 3 meeting.