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Park City School District employees to get 16% pay increase

A banner outside Jeremy Ranch Elementary.
Renai Bodley Miller
A banner outside Jeremy Ranch Elementary.

Park City School District employee associations and the board of education recently finalized new three-year contracts that offer faculty a substantial salary bump.

Teachers, secretaries, custodians and all other salaried employees of the district are set to get a 16% pay increase, according to PCSD human resources director Shad Sorenson.

Staff could also see additional salary increases of 6% in the following two years if certain economic indicators are met.

The agreement ensures the starting salary for first-year teachers with a bachelor’s degree will be above $60,000.

Additionally, the minimum wage for all jobs at the district has been bumped up to $20 per hour.

Mary Morgan, an Ecker Hill teacher and co-president of the Park City Education Association, which represents the district’s teachers, said the pay increases will change lives.

“Many employees have second or third jobs, some commuting over an hour away,” Morgan said. “As soon as this came out to us for us to vote on, we had all employee groups in tears, just knowing that this would make a huge impact. This increase also creates a more livable wage that values all staff. We are just so supportive and thankful to the board and to the district administration for their support in this increase.”

Morgan said feeling valued is especially important to the staff that commute from the Salt Lake Valley or other places outside of Summit County every day to work for the district.

“When we’ve got employees that are traveling over an hour away in order to come to Park City, who can’t afford to live here, or rent here, or even rent any place within 30 miles of here, that makes a huge impact,” she said.

In the past, experienced teachers coming to the district were only compensated up to 10 years on their salary scale. For example, a teacher with 15 years of experience would be paid the same as a teacher of 10 years, because of the established limit.

The new contract removes that cap for incoming educators, which Morgan said will help with recruitment.

The pay increase for Park City teachers does not include a $4,200 compensation bonus approved by the Utah Legislature earlier this year in a school voucher bill.

However, the salary increase for staff means property tax rates may need to be raised, Park City Board of Education President Andrew Caplan said.

“We do anticipate raising the rate year one. We also anticipate a small tax increase in years two and three,” Caplan said. “In the past, with the continued asset appreciation, we haven’t had to. So it’s kind of a stab in terms of what we think this will look like.”

The district estimates anticipated property tax revenue in its draft budget that will be published June 1. True assessed values by the county will come out later in June, which will help advise the board on how or whether to adjust property taxes.