FONTANA, Calif. – On May 7, 2014, more than 200 teachers from the Fontana Unified School District protested along a city street, chanting “Recall in the fall,” according to the San Bernardino Sun.
They also held out signs to passing traffic that said, “We love your kids, love us back,” the newspaper reported.
All of the fuss was part of an effort to get the school board to meet union salary and benefit demands during contract negotiations.
The union finally got a new contract from the school about a month later. It included a 3 percent pay increase, retroactive for one year, and a one-time 2 percent bonus, retroactive for one year.
But union contracts never settle the salary/benefit battle for long, and there are bound to be howls of protest from Fontana teachers again, sometime in the future.
Before that occurs, citizens of the school district should know what their teachers really make, with salary and benefits added up.
In the 2015-16 school year, the 1,890 Fontana teachers earned a grand total of $147,296,064 in base salary. That’s an average salary of $77,934 per teacher.
The district also paid out $23,732,888 in health, dental and vision benefits for teachers, which averages out to $12,557 per employee. It also paid out $11,655,166 in pension benefits on behalf of those teachers, for an average of $6,166 per teacher.
So the average compensation package for Fontana teachers in 2015-16 totaled $96,657 – which is $18,723 more than the average base salary.
Fontana teachers work 184 days per year, according to information provided by the school district. So the average compensation package of $96,657 comes out to about $525 per day. They are required to work 7.5 hours per day, so the daily rate breaks down to about $70 per hour.
Some teachers made a lot more than average.
One teacher, Dave Ungerer, received a straight salary of $112,415, health benefits worth $14,021 and a pension contribution of $7,591. That totals $134,027.
Teacher Magdelina Vasquez received a straight salary of $104,262, health benefits worth $14,021 and a pension contribution of $7,619. That totals $125,902.
The district’s top district administrator made out pretty well, too.
In 2015-16 Superintendent Leslie Boozer earned a base salary of $258,718, health benefits worth another $14,619, and the district made a pension contribution of $20,924. That brought the superintendent’s annual compensation to a grand total of at least $294,261 – $35,534 more than the base salary.