News

Supporting members during crisis...what the UEA is doing for you

10/14/2020

The UEA and local associations continue to fight for members’ salary, rights and working conditions and to provide needed information in the current environment. Following are a few results of state and local association actions and influence since June 2020:

  • In response to UEA demands for ‘clear, enforceable requirements’ for schools experiencing COVID-19 outbreaks, most Utah schools began to follow Utah Department of Health guidance on when schools must go to remote learning.
  • The state allocated funding to provide every teacher with PPE (in addition to what districts were already planning).
  • Governor Herbert stepped in to ensure the ‘modified quarantine’ guidance was replaced with a higher safety standard.
  • Governor Herbert began placing new emphasis on standards for school district plans after receiving the UEA’s 5 Key Requirements for a Safe Return to In-person Learning.
  • Many local school boards, such as Logan City, worked closely with educators from the outset to create acceptable reopening plans.
  • Prior to beginning the school year, many school boards changed or modified back-to-school plans, including:
    • Salt Lake City School District moved to all distance learning to begin the school year;
    • Davis School District switched to split schedule allowing extra social distancing; and
    • Canyons School District delayed opening by a week to allow extra preparation time.
  • Many school boards are improving their accommodations for high-risk employees and compliance with guidelines such as masks, social distancing and PPE.
  • The legislature provided a 2.2% overall increase in public education funding (Utah remains the ONLY state not experiencing an education budget cut as a result of the pandemic).
  • Education funding increases combined with hard work by local association bargaining teams led to many positive negotiated settlements, including:
    • Granite – 5% cost-of-living (COLA) increase, 3% stipend and a collapsed salary schedule allowing educators to reach the top faster and increase lifetime earnings;
    • Tooele – $3,200 across-the-board increase plus steps and a bump in their remote school stipend from $5,000 to $10,000;
    • Salt Lake – 4.5% COLA and collapsing the first 2 steps to create a $50,000 starting salary;
    • Morgan – 4% COLA; and
    • Logan – 3.9% COLA plus a one-time 4% salary enhancement based on revenues.

In addition, the UEA continues to support members with the many changes facing our public schools and education professionals. Here are a few resources available:

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