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Board and Teacher’s Union Scheduled to Negotiate
Board and Teacher’s Union Scheduled to Negotiate
Tuesday, June 18, 2019

The Hemlock Board of Education contract with the Hemlock Federation of Teacher’s (HFT) is scheduled to expire December 1, 2019. The expiring agreement was in place for three years from December 1, 2016, through November 30, 2019. The negotiation process will start sometime in August but no later than September 1.

 The highlights from the current agreement are as follows:

  • Three years starting December 1, 2016.
  • $500 ratification bonus per teacher.
  • Annual wage increases for teachers, getting steps in year 1-12 of employment, an example of a starting teacher in 2016 would go from total compensation of $65,188.63 to $78,190.02 over the time period of the previous contract ($6,600 in direct wage increases).
  • Annual salary increases for teachers in years 15 and beyond at the start of this agreement, getting longevity in year 15+ with district, an example teacher with 15 years of service would go from $100,573.14 to $107,584.51 total compensation over the time period of the previous contract ($1,500 in direct wage increases).
  • Additional pay for advanced degrees, extracurricular activities, sick and personal days are not included in the above examples.

School finance is a complex environment not often easily understood because unlike business, governmental or school accounting often involves different funding streams with different spending requirements. A district relies on a general fund balance as a safety net for operation. From 2013 to the present the Hemlock Public School District has made significant strides with sound fiscal management and moved from being historically financially unstable and unhealthy to a financial state recommended by the Michigan Association of School Boards and Michigan School Business Officials, which is on par with peer districts and those across the State of Michigan.  

Superintendent Don Killingbeck, said, “We are fortunate to have an amazing group of hard-working and dedicated professional educators that care tremendously about kids. It makes the conversation about compensation even more challenging when there are always limited resources.”

The bargaining unit represents approximately 60+ teachers.  The current contract and any future agreement are/will be posted on the district’s website, along with budgetary and other financial transparency items, can be viewed by visiting the district’s website at and clicking on the link labeled Budget and Salary/Compensation that appears in the upper right corner.

Vice President and Negotiation Chair Matt Wesener, said, "Negotiations, by nature, can be very contentious, but I am sure we with our phenomenal staff here at Hemlock that we will be at reach an agreement that puts Hemlock Schools and its teachers in a position to be successful for years to come.”

The district is excited to work with the union to strengthen our partnership with teachers. Hemlock Public School District continues to be a destination for families seeking a great place for their children to learn and grow.