Contract round up: San Francisco, Albuquerque, Brevard County (FL), Elgin U-46 (IL) and Tulsa

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This month’s Catching up on Contracts reports on contract changes in five districts in our Teacher Contract DatabaseSan Francisco Unified School District, Albuquerque Public Schools, Brevard County School District, Elgin School District U-46 and Tulsa Public Schools.  

San Francisco Unified School District, July 1, 2014 through June 30, 2017

The most notable changes in San Francisco’s latest contract are in the increases in base salaries for full-time and substitute teachers. The district is also ushering in changes to teachers’ preparation time.

Salary and benefits

Between July 1, 2014 and January 1, 2017, teachers receive a 12 percent cost-of-living increase in salaries, spread out over the term of the contract as follows:

  • July 1, 2014: 2 percent
  • January 1, 2015: 2 percent
  • July 1, 2015: 1.5 percent
  • January 1, 2016: 1.5 percent
  • July 1, 2016: 2.75 percent
  • January 1, 2017: 2.25 percent

The contract provides greater incentive to give timely notice of retirement. If teachers who plan to retire on June 30 give notice by February 1, they receive $1,000; they receive $500 if they give notice by March 1. Previously, the stipend was $600 for notice by March 1.

Substitute teachers

It is no secret that many districts around the country are facing a shortage of substitute teachers, and as a November 2014 San Francisco Gate article reported, San Francisco is no exception. A fairly significant increase in pay for substitute teachers may help alleviate the shortage:

Substitutes begin on Level 1 unless they have worked more than 70 days for the two previous consecutive school years. Once they qualify for Level 2, they are paid the higher rate retroactively to the beginning of the year. They revert to the Level 1 if a minimum of 71 days is not reached in any school year. For substitutes in the same assignment more than 10 consecutive days, the daily bonus rate is retroactive to the first day of that assignment. 

Preparation time: The latest contract more than doubles the amount of duty-free preparation time granted to elementary teachers, jumping from 60 to 150 minutes each week. 

Albuquerque Public Schools (NM), July 1, 2014 – June 30, 2015

In Albuquerque, the latest contract changes center around salary increases within its performance-pay salary structure and a gradual return to state-level class size limits.


Albuquerque’s latest contract brings salary changes; but first, a bit of background is needed in order to understand the structure of these changes:

  • New Mexico offers a 3-tiered licensure system which assigns base salaries to each level of teaching license. Advancement to a higher licensure level is dependent on performance and a review of the teacher’s professional development record. Within each licensure level, a teacher’s salary increases based on seniority and advanced degrees. There are more significant increases in salary when a teacher advances to a new licensure level.

In May, 2014, New Mexico lawmakers voted to give teachers a 3 percent raise and increased the base pay of teachers on level 1 by $2,000. Albuquerque negotiated a $2,000 raise for teachers on levels 2 and 3 as well, taking the base pay at each level to $32,000, $42,000 and $50,000, respectively.

Teachers who already make the new minimum salary or greater receive a 3 percent negotiated raise. Those who are below the new minimum at each tier will get larger percentage raises to bring them up to the new floor. For example, a level 2 teacher making $40,000 receives about a 5 percent raise to meet the new minimum of $42,000.

Class size

Due to funding and budget limitations, Albuquerque Public Schools (APS) received a waiver from the state in 2011 to exceed the state’s class size limitations. Albuquerque is now inching its way back to the pre-waiver class sizes this year.

Brevard County School District (FL), July 2, 2014 – June 20, 2015

In Brevard, contract changes cover grievance and benefits; however, the most interesting changes are in the district’s performance-pay salary structure.


Teachers have the option to move to a new pay-for-performance salary schedule or to remain on the grandfathered schedule. This is a one-time opportunity; once a teacher selects either option, he/she can’t switch to the other salary plan.

Interestingly though, there is very little difference between the grandfathered schedule and performance-pay schedule with regard to how much teachers are paid. Like previous years, teachers on both schedules receive bonuses for higher evaluation ratings; specifically, those rated effective receive a $750 bonus while those rated highly effective receive a $1,000 bonus. The difference between the schedules in bonus amounts comes down to $1: highly effective teachers now earn $1 more than teachers on the grandfathered scheduled. Otherwise, base pay remains the same on both schedules.

The big differences the latest contract brings have to do with how base pay is calculated and how teachers move along the salary schedule. A teacher’s base salary is determined by adding his/her base salary from the previous year to any performance bonuses earned. Additionally, movement on both salary schedules is now dependent on performance, not seniority.

Teachers did not receive a cost-of-living increase this year.


The grievance process has changed slightly within the new contract. In addition to the players changing slightly, teachers now have fewer days to file a grievance: 14 days (10 school days) compared to the previous  25 days (18 school days) they had under the last contract.


The district’s contribution to the health insurance premium for employee-only coverage has dropped to 85 percent of the cost of the premium, down from 91 percent in 2013. However, the district’s maximum dollar contribution to health insurance did increase from $544 to $614 per month.

Elgin School District U-46 (IL), August 16, 2014 – August 11, 2017

Elgin District U-46 teachers will see a cost-of-living increase this year; but the more interesting changes are within the district’s collaborative planning time and layoff and recall policies.


This school year, teachers receive a 2.5 percent cost-of-living adjustment.

Collaborative planning time

A new policy requires a more structured collaborative planning time. The previous contract called for 240 minutes of collaborative planning time each month with the exception of December (120 minutes), which could be used in a wide variety of ways. The current contract introduces "Professional Practice Days" and "District Collaborative Days," each of which encompass 50 percent of a teacher’s total collaborative planning time.

On Professional Practice Days, teachers participate in a collaborative activity with a group of colleagues. The focus is on students’ needs through analysis of student growth, professional practice and curriculum development and implementation.

On District Collaborative Days, the district assigns activities aligned to the District Improvement Plan and the work of the District Professional Development Committee and Instructional Council.

The total collaborative planning time must not exceed 10 days for each teacher. 


Previously state law only allowed teachers with the two highest evaluation ratings to be given recall rights after layoffs. A recent change in the law now extends recall rights to teachers who received one summative rating of "needs improvement" and one summative rating of "proficient" or "excellent" on the previous two evaluations. However, teachers with the lower evaluation ratings maintain recall rights for six months, as opposed to the full year granted to higher-rated teachers.

Tulsa Public Schools (OK), July 1, 2014 – June 30, 2015

There isn’t much to report in Tulsa’s latest contract, except for its latest cost-of-living increase in teacher salaries: this school year, teachers receive a 0.3 percent cost-of-living adjustment. However, this really only impacts teachers with nearly 30 years or more experience, as salaries on each step remained the same from last year to this year except for steps 27 and higher on the salary schedule.