MESA, Arizona – Teachers unions don’t care for the system in Arizona, which does not force school districts to engage in collective bargaining with unions.

But Arizona teachers apparently don’t have it so bad, despite the unions’ inability to employ pressure tactics at the bargaining table.

Teachers in the Mesa school district are a good example.

In early 2015, despite anticipated state budget cuts to K-12 education, the Mesa school district board voted to give a very nice across-the- board raise to employees.

“The total value of that is about 3.5 percent to our teachers and about 2.5 percent to our administrators and classified staff,” Assistant Superintendent of Business and Support Services Bobette Sylvester was quoted as saying by

How did that raise pan out for teachers?

In the 2015-16 school year, 3,550 Mesa teachers were paid a combined base salary of $173,531,714, which averages out to $48,882 per teacher, according to information provided by the school district.

They also received a combined $19,311,861 in retirement benefits (an average of $5,439 per teacher), $15,352,267 in medical benefits (an average of $4,324) and $526,787 in dental and vision benefits (an average of $148). All of the benefits average out to $9,912 per teacher.

That brings the average compensation package for Mesa teachers in 2015 to at least $58,793.

We asked the Mesa school district for the number of days that teachers are required to work, as well as the number of hours per day, but did not receive a direct answer.

But we know Arizona law requires 180 days of instruction for students, so we will assume the teachers worked five days more than that. We will also assume that Mesa teachers work eight hours per day.

Using that presumed schedule the average compensation figure listed above breaks down to about $317 per day and about $39 per hour. That’s not bad, considering the lack of powerful teachers unions in the state.

The district’s superintendent also made out pretty good in 2015-16, earning a base salary of $180,000, a retirement contribution of $20,430 and medical, dental and vision benefits worth $4,460.

That comes out to $204,890.

Comments are closed.