What is the Teacher and Administrator Contract Database?
The ConnCAN Teacher and Administrator Contract Database is a comprehensive collection of the state’s collective bargaining agreements, or contracts, for teachers and school administrators from throughout the state. This database presents information about terms and conditions of employment and overall statewide trends found in the contracts.
These contracts are negotiated at various times throughout the year, and generally run for a three-year period. Approximately 1/3 of the state’s teacher and administrator contracts are up for negotiation annually. This datebase will be regularly updated as renegotiated contracts become available.
Why create a teacher and administrator contract database?
ConnCAN created this Administrator Contract Database to provide free, public access to teacher collective bargaining agreements for every single public school district in Connecticut that has them. We also publish analysis of the trends found in these agreements. Teacher and administrators contracts help shape local district education policy. As such, we believe that providing access to this information in a user-friendly, web-based form will be an essential tool to inform the public dialogue on district-level policy change.
How did ConnCAN obtain all of these contracts?
We obtained contracts from district websites when possible. If we could not find the contract online, we requested contracts from the district’s human resources or labor relations department, and districts sent us copies by mail, fax or email. Although contracts are public documents subject to disclosure under Connecticut’s public disclosure laws, the overwhelming majority of Connecticut’s public school districts have provided these contracts voluntarily and expeditiously, without requiring a public disclosure request.
How are these contracts negotiated and who negotiates them?
These contracts are the employment agreements negotiated between two parties. The local or regional board of education represents the school district. The bargaining unit, or union, represents the teaching or administrative staff. These contracts outline the terms and conditions of employment for teachers and administrators in the district.
The two unions representing teachers in Connecticut are the Connecticut Education Association (CEA) and the American Federation of Teachers-CT (AFT), the state affiliates of their respective national organizations, the National Education Association (NEA) and the American Federation of Teachers (AFT). A number of different bargaining units represent school administrators, including the Connecticut Federation of School Administrators - a state affiliate of the national AFL-CIO union.
This database includes collective bargaining agreements for teachers and administrators below the rank of superintendent. We do not collect individual contracts which are sometimes negotiated for non-superintendent administrators, particularly in smaller districts. We also do not collect superintendent contracts, which are negotiated exclusively on an individual basis.
What is included in this database?
This database compiles collective bargaining agreements and summarizes information on key provisions of these contracts, including workday and length, salary, insurance, benefits, evaluations, layoffs , transfers, and more.
This database does not include provisions on: grievance procedures, protection, personal injury, harassment, facilities, or commitments outside the work day such as after-school meetings. It also excludes issues of “academic freedom” (freedom from union interference in academic matters), such as matters related to the grading of students, curriculum, and instruction.
With the exception of the “District Snapshot” section on the Find & Compare District webpage, the database contains information only from the district’s collective bargaining agreement. The data in the “District Snapshot” section comes from the Connecticut State Department of Education and is the most recent publicly available data.
What if my town/district is not listed in the Database?
If your town is not listed in the database, first check to see whether your town is part of a multi-town school district. In the case of administrator contracts, it may be that your town/district does not have a collective bargaining agreement for administrators, and contracts are negotiated on an individual basis. If you have any further questions, please do not hesitate to contact us at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Where could I find other contracts not included in the database?
You can obtain all contracts and supplemental documents from your school district or local union affiliate’s website or by requesting a copy from your school district’s human resource or labor relations department. Such documents are subject to the state’s public disclosure laws.
Do the rules and policies in this database reflect what actually happens in schools?
Not always. This database captures policies established by collective bargaining agreements, which may not always reflect actual practice. For example, the contract provisions that set teacher work hours do not always reflect the actual hours that many teachers work each day. We also know that some district decisions are made outside of the contract and consequently may not be captured here.
Does this database favor certain contract provisions or types of contracts over others?
No. This database is a presentation of factual information about each contract in the state, and it does not rank, rate, or judge the contracts. We have highlighted several unique aspects of or trends across contracts in our Analysis section.
ConnCAN's Teacher and Administrator Contract Database: Why Do These Contract Provisions Matter?
The information below highlights the importance of the contract provisions that we include on our Find & Compare page.
This section provides information about the negotiation process and timelines, including when the contracts expire, which collective bargaining unit (union) negotiates them, and a link to the PDF of the contract. Negotiation timelines are set by state law, creating a requirement for contracts to be finalized by certain timelines and dates. If the contracts are not finalized within the timelines created by law, the contract negotiation process will go to mandatory arbitration.
Work Day and Work Year
This section includes the amount of time each day and each year teachers are contractually required to work and in what capacity. Number of work days varies but is generally between 180-190 days for teachers. Districts with longer work days and work years often build teacher support systems such as preparation and professional development into the mandated work day and year. Although these provisions outline the contractual obligations under which teachers must work, this is not necessarily reflective of the amount of time that teachers actually work daily or annually.
This section summarizes the processes related to the recommended and/or required class size for teachers at different school levels. Because a provision on class size is not always found in contracts, it is notable which districts have these provisions and the conditions contained therein (a number of larger districts, for example, contain this provision). Class size is generally specified in five ways: goal, guideline, limit, range, or ratio. For example, some districts may have a class size specified, but this specification may be a guideline or a suggested goal and therefore exceeding the guide number carries no stated penalty. Conversely, some districts will specify a strict range or limit on class sizes and may specify that certain procedures must take place when this number is breached (for example: adding additional staff such as teaching assistants or splitting classes).
Salary is one of the most important sections of the contract, and in many cases, is the most contentious issue negotiated. Salary negotiations may include discussions related to the percentage by which salaries will increase annually over a multi-year period, and how salary will change based on experience and degree status. Negotiations may also include a step freeze, a mutual decision made by the teachers' union and the district to temporarily hold all teachers at their current salary step for cost savings. Salary schedules can be the result of significant compromises from both sides of the table. The salaries of teachers in a district (particularly in comparison to neighboring or similarly situated and/or populated districts) can impact how a district attracts teacher talent to its schools.
This section describes various types of additional payments that teachers may earn above and beyond their salaries, based on extra qualifications, duties performed, or other efforts. These payments may be paid in various ways, including as annual stipends or hourly compensation. In a number of districts, teachers are provided with opportunities to earn significant amounts of money above and beyond their salary. When considering a district’s overall compensation package, these additional opportunities for compensation can make some districts far more attractive to current and future teachers. There are also provisions that highlight some of the ways districts provide incentives for additional education or performance, including tuition reimbursement and performance-based pay.
This section details various types of leave that teachers are granted throughout the school year and the conditions under which such leave may be taken, including, but not limited to: sick, personal, sabbatical and leave for professional development purposes.
This section provides basic information regarding various types of insurance benefits offered by the district. Health insurance is locally negotiated for each district. It is an important benefit for employees and a major cost driver for districts. Most districts in the state have begun to offer a High Deductible Health Plan with a Health Savings Account as a way to reduce costs. Robust benefit packages, especially health insurance, are historically considered as one of the attractions to the teaching profession.
Layoff & Transfer Procedures
This section summarizes the procedures by which teachers may be either laid off or transferred to another position as a result of a reduction in force. Districts may enact a reduction in force for a number of reasons, including decreased student enrollment or for financial reasons. Seniority is the most common factor that drives the layoff decision process. The range of other factors that districts consider can range from performance evaluations to degree status.
Although the conditions for evaluations are generally set outside of collective bargaining, some specific components related to teacher evaluations might be referenced or included in contracts. This section summarizes the extent to which a district’s contract specifies the procedures for educator evaluation. Inclusion of evaluations in a teacher’s collective bargaining agreement is reflective of the increased attention concerning the teacher evaluation process, particularly within the context of the state’s new educator and administrator evaluation system.