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