Salt Lake City teachers rally amid salary negotiation standstill

Return To Article

Commenting has temporarily been suspended in preparation for our new website launch, which is planned for the week of August 12th. When the new site goes live, we will also launch our new commenting platform. Thank you for your patience while we make these changes.

  • Howard Beal Provo, UT
    July 2, 2019 1:07 a.m.

    Yes, we know babysitters don't make 100K or more. But they aren't supervising 40 students.

    So if say a babysitter got $2 an hour per kid, I'm not sure that is that good for even a baby sitter in notoriously cheap Utah but let's keep it simple for everyone.

    If I saw 40 students for say 1.5 hours as a high school teacher, I would be making about $80 per hour or $100 per class. If I'm a typical HS teacher, three classes at $300 per day. That sounds about right to me. But maybe $2 is real cheap if you actually want teachers to educate and do more than an average babysitter or daycare center. And I would imagine the daycare providers get more $2 per kid per hour.

  • Rebekeh Salt Lake City, UT
    June 26, 2019 2:50 p.m.


    That's awesome for your friend that she may quit her stressful, low paying job to become a teacher. It's even more awesome if she's on the hunt for an easier job with better pay and summers off. She is, no doubt, as qualified as you say.

    I'm a seasoned teacher. We've seen a number of new teachers come for the exact reasons you describe in your friend. They don't last.

  • The Real Maverick Spanish Fork, UT
    June 20, 2019 1:56 p.m.

    @ 2 bites

    “Protest all you want, but you already earn the average for the State. You should not be earning more than the people who pay you (the average income in the State you work in).

    Nationally teachers are paid ~the national average salary
    Google "Average pay in America"... ~$59,000
    Googke "Average pay for Teachers in America"... ~$59,000
    Both ~$59,000

    Same story in Utah. Teachers earn ~ average for the State.”

    Why should teachers earn “the average?” Average pay includes those without college degrees. Why don’t we take the average pay of bachelor’s degrees? And you’ll find that even teachers with masters and PhDs are paid lower than the average worker with a bachelors.

    Game set match.

  • Smith9294 Lehi, UT
    June 20, 2019 12:59 p.m.

    Teacher contracts cover their classroom time, usually 7:30-2:30. All of the work they do outside of class to prepare lessons, grade papers, meet with parents, etc. are outside of the contract hours; they don't get paid for it. When you factor in those hours their hourly rate people keep referring to is much lower.

    Also, since when has it become a bad thing for people to use the leverage they have to ask their employer for higher pay. Teachers are simply doing what is done in the private sector, using the leverage they have to ask for more money. That is part of the American culture.

  • Fullypresent Salt Lake City, UT
    June 20, 2019 10:14 a.m.

    We have a family friend who works in child welfare trying to keep some our state's most vulnerable children safe. The hours are long, the work can be dangerous, and is extremely stressful.

    As a worker with experience, she would love to make $50,100 a year, have summers off and the same holidays as her child. The turnover rate where she works is now at 40%.

    She has a minor in history. If the teachers strike, she is ready to step up and take one of their jobs. She is excellent with kids and wants to make a difference.

    Many of her co-workers have already left for the schools for much higher pay, easier jobs, and summers off. Many of her co-workers also have to work two jobs year round.

  • rickdoctor Chandler, AZ
    June 19, 2019 6:45 p.m.

    Teachers' pay in UT, AZ, & ID is notoriously low, despite each state claiming they 'value' education. I know of many teachers who received an instant $10,000 pay raise by going to another state to teach the exact same position. Utah loses one-third of its new teachers within 5 years, which is well documented. Raising the starting pay to $50,000, while subtracting $125,000 from the average career earnings of a Utah teacher is simply a PR ploy. I have substitute taught in the UT school system, including elementary, middle, and high schools. I have seen what teachers do. It's 8-9 hours a day. Prep time is maybe once per week, averages 15 minutes a day. I worked for the State of Utah. State employees get two 15-min 'breaks' every day = PAID, plus an extra 15 minutes for lunch = PAID. That's 45 minutes every day = totals 2 days/mo. No teacher gets that. State employees get .5 to 1.5 days accrued paid vacation and .5 day accrued paid sick leave every pay period = twice per month; + 12 paid holidays per year. SO, average per year = 24 days paid break time + 24 days paid vacation + 12 days paid sick leave + 12 paid holidays = TOTAL 72 PAID DAYS OFF = 14.5 WEEKS. NO TEACHER gets that much.

  • SLTribReaderFTW Salt Lake City, UT
    June 19, 2019 12:49 p.m.

    Ditto to the LOLS at the know it alls who have never taught.

    The fact there is a major teacher shortage in Utah speaks for itself. The numbers are in. Too many students don't have a teacher until months into the school year, and, sadly, many other teachers leave the profession mid year due to high stress and lack of recognition/remuneration.

    For those of you saying, "you already got offered a raise this year, why you mad bro" pull the wool from your eyes and read between the lines. The change to the pay structure means that teachers will take a hit to lifetime earnings (RETIREMENT), and that career educators will have less reason to stay in the job. It's the classic, don't golden shower on me and tell me its raining.

    Finally, if you really think the job is so cushy, try substitute teaching a little bit.

  • zipadeedoodah Lehi, UT
    June 19, 2019 11:19 a.m.

    @Kings Court - Alpine, UT "Zipadeedoodh, I think teachers know very well the hourly rate that they make. All they are asking is to be paid the hourly rate of teenage babysitters per child. That would put starting salaries at about six figures. As a bonus, they will offer a teaching service for each child—something babysitters don’t do as part of their gig."

    Apparently @Kings Court doesn't have a clue as to the hourly rate they make or he/she would not be suggesting that teachers are making babysitting wages. And babysitters do not make six figures. That is pure nonsense.

    Teachers make a very fine hourly wage. As noted, I come from a family of educators, my parents, my siblings, my wife have all pursued it (and they have retired comfortably.) And now my son has dropped his six figure salary with an economics firm in Boston so he can be a HS teacher. He is not dumb. He knows the numbers. (I am a CPA and see what they make as well and understand the numbers.)

  • Flipphone , 00
    June 19, 2019 10:06 a.m.

    Every times property taxes are raise to give more money to Teachers and public education housing affordability become harder to achieve.

  • 2 bits Cottonwood Heights, UT
    June 19, 2019 9:11 a.m.

    Be careful teachers. Education is one of those jobs that are easy to automate. There's online curriculum and online education used in almost every industry. Be careful not to price yourself out of a job. When it's economical to move to more online education we will need less teachers.


    Protest all you want, but you already earn the average for the State. You should not be earning more than the people who pay you (the average income in the State you work in).

    Nationally teachers are paid ~the national average salary
    Google "Average pay in America"... ~$59,000
    Googke "Average pay for Teachers in America"... ~$59,000
    Both ~$59,000

    Same story in Utah. Teachers earn ~ average for the State.

    Google "Average pay in Utah"... $55,000
    Google "Average teacher pay in Utah"... $54,000

    Next year teacher pay will go up $4000 in my district. So you will be earning more than the State average.

  • 2 bit Cottonwood Heights, UT
    June 19, 2019 8:42 a.m.

    Uhmm... You're getting paid a lot more next year than you did last year, and we are paying more in taxes to pay you more... what more do you want? Why the protest? You already got a big raise. What more can we do?

    You should probably save the protests for a year when you didn't get the biggest raises in State history. Bigger raises than your neighbors (who pay your salary) got.

  • RiDal Sandy, UT
    June 19, 2019 7:42 a.m.

    Sorry, teachers; but there is a supply-demand ratio for teachers also.
    It is a fairly chushy, indoor job with lots of benefits and the whole summer off! This attracts well-educated people who don't want to labor on the North Slope of Alaska oilfields. Consider yourselves lucky.

  • Misseleer71 Salt Lake City, UT
    June 19, 2019 3:05 a.m.

    For all the teachers of Utah, I have one request to demand in return for their being entrusted with my children's children and their future. You all swear and oath of allegiance to the Untied States and the institution of free education and freedom of information from all resources and that the banning of books about freedom, liberties, and state and US History is put back into education to teach children their rights and liberties and the meaning of the Constitution, the bill of rights, and Declaration of Independence that created this nation. If teacher want my money they teach what I demand, not what the governemtn of education limits the teachers curriculum. Teachers should have the final say about what is taught in education about this country and our forefathers with prejudice and independent liberties.

    If teachers can swear they will educate according to freedom of speech and full benefit of knowledge then we will think about what you are worth to us and your future. So far the education system of Utah has failed to teach unlimited americans culture. There are no cultural differences in Utah becasue the american culture is one of a kind.

  • Lifelong Republican Orem, UT
    June 19, 2019 1:33 a.m.

    I laugh and laugh at the "know it all" posters that want to tell teachers how good they have it.

    If it was so good, why don't we have a long line of people waiting to take the jobs?

    Teacher benefits were slashed in 2011. No more pensions. They never had great health benefits. No vision, no dental.

    Public education is in crisis mode just looking for warm bodies to fill the jobs but can't even find that.

    Every professional I know gets 2 weeks off at Christmas plus they get 30 vacation days to use as they wish.

    Where is that line of people waiting to take these "great jobs"?

  • Fullypresent Salt Lake City, UT
    June 19, 2019 12:23 a.m.

    $50,000 is a good salary in Utah especially with summers off, all the holidays and other benefits they receive. What they need is smaller classrooms.

  • Kings Court Alpine, UT
    June 18, 2019 10:03 p.m.

    Zipadeedoodh, I think teachers know very well the hourly rate that they make. All they are asking is to be paid the hourly rate of teenage babysitters per child. That would put starting salaries at about six figures. As a bonus, they will offer a teaching service for each child—something babysitters don’t do as part of their gig.

  • thots TOOELE, UT
    June 18, 2019 9:46 p.m.

    Salt Lake City teachers, please know that you have a lot of people supporting you as you ask for higher wages.

    Legislators, the teacher shortage is real! Yes, some steps have been taken recently to bolster education funding, but this has to be seen against the backdrop of decades of funding cuts while inflation has eroded the buying power of those education dollars. The teacher shortage is real! If the teachers aren't given what they are asking for at the bargaining tables, then supply and demand will do an even better job of increasing teacher pay, but at a high price for our students.

    Local school board members, take a look at how many open teaching positions your district currently has. At what date has your district finally been able to hire someone to fill that last position in the fall over the last five years? I bet there have been many times that it has been after the school year has begun, and I bet that it is getting worse over time. Do you want your district to be the one hiring questionable candidates, just to fill a position? Look for was to give the teachers what they want, or face explaining to parents why their child's class is being taught by a sub.

  • Impartial7 DRAPER, UT
    June 18, 2019 6:47 p.m.

    Utah, along with other Red states, needs to deal honestly and stop the bait and switch tactics. What other degreed profession says, "Here's a great starting salary. But, we will cap your earnings after 8 years (even though housing, food and other costs of living keep rising). Plus, we'll reduce your health care and savings benefits to pay you more upfront"? What a deal. Utah self righteously purports to have "Family values", and "Children are our future" beliefs. But, they sure don't put their money where their mouth's are when it comes to educating those kids.

  • NoNamesAccepted St. George, UT
    June 18, 2019 5:38 p.m.

    Seems an increase in the classroom stipend would meet the needs at a much lower cost than a pay raise.

  • dski Herriman, UT
    June 18, 2019 5:26 p.m.

    Local school boards should encourage enrollment in online programs. If I have schoolage children, I will enroll them in the online programs. Advancement in technologies and fast speed internet highways make education much easier. This will cut down on classroom sizes as well. For teachers pay? I say they are paid well for the amount of time they work.

  • Utahnareapeculiarpeople Salt Lake City, UT
    June 18, 2019 5:05 p.m.

    Somehow it doesn't seem like investing in training teachers (albeit at a much lower percentage of the cost than in the past thanks to the cutbacks in support for higher ed) knowing that more than half will leave the profession after eight years makes a lot of sense, but I guess it works for Utah.

  • zipadeedoodah Lehi, UT
    June 18, 2019 4:24 p.m.

    Do you realize the hourly wage teachers make? Do you realize the health benefits and retirement benefits they receive? And the holidays and vacation time off?

    I come from a family of many teachers. Both my parents were teachers as was my wife. It is not a bad ride but somehow the educators seem to not understand their own hourly benefits. They complain that they don't get paid more. They say they work long hours. But open your eyes and increase your understanding.

    Other professionals also work long hours but they don't get off every major (and many minor) holidays. They don't get off 2 weeks for Christmas, a fall and a spring break. And who else gets off a couple of months in the summer? May say to this, but they are going back to school in the summer. Yes, but other professionals often do this. And when they increase their education, these teachers get more pay for it. And very few non-government workers get the generous retirement benefits of teachers.

    If you equate all these benefits with other average professional jobs you will see the pay is actually very good.