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Collective Bargaining Trends from SERB

By Hollie Reedy posted 28 days ago

  

The State Employment Relations Board (SERB) Wage Settlement Report for 2023 was released recently.  This report analyzes collective bargaining agreements entered into in calendar year 2023 and provides employers with useful data on the average wage agreements, which can be reviewed by areas of the state, type of employer and employment, and more. 

Focusing only on teaching contracts entered into in 2023, the SERB data reveals the average wage increase was 3.24% statewide in year one of the contract.  This average was drawn from 141 teaching contracts entered into in 2023.  Over the entire period of the contract, the average teacher wage increase is 2.96%. For 2024, the average wage increase for teachers was 2.88%, and in 2025, it was 2.74%. This reflects an increase over 2022, when the average increase was 2.57%.  In 2021, the average was 2.21%.  Overall, this shows an increased percentage of the amount of wage increases.

In terms of lump sum payments, only 44 districts out of 141 offered a bonus or other lump sum payment to teachers during the contract term, and the average amount of that lump sum payment ranged from $150-$4,000, with an average amount of $1,176 in 2023 of the agreements.  For 2024, the average lump sum payment to teachers was $1,114, and in 2025, year three of the agreements, the average lump sum payment was $625.  Note that this data is a summary of the terms of all agreements providing a lump sum payment in any year of the contracts: it does not mean there was a lump sum payment in every year of every contract. 

Turning to nonteaching contracts, collective bargaining agreements on average increased by 3.01% for FY 2023, by 2.81% in 2024, and by 2.77% in 2025. This average was derived from an analysis of roughly 100 nonteaching school district collective bargaining agreements settled in 2023 over the usual three-year period of labor agreements.  In 2022, the overall average wage increase was lower, about 2.4% overall.  The 2021, average wage increase was 2.2%.  Therefore, the trend is increasing percentage increases in each year of the contract.  Over all three years of the agreement for nonteaching school district employees, the average wage increase was 2.86%.

One-time bonuses remain an option in bargaining for various reasons, but SERB data shows that again, lump sum payments were not widely utilized. For nonteaching school district collective bargaining agreements executed in 2023, only a quarter of those contracts contained a lump sum in year one, with the average payment being $782, while in year two, only 10% of contracts contained a lump sum payment averaging $782, and in year 3, only about 8% of contracts contained an average lump sum payment, but the average payment was higher, at $913. 

In summary, the SERB Wage Settlement report reveals that in the wake of the end of pandemic aid to states and schools that wage growth in school districts across Ohio has remained conservative overall.

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