Why Work in BC? Salaries and Benefits in Education

Salary and Benefits

Salary

Salary and benefits for public education employees varies among employee groups, school boards, and geographic locations. Teachers and support staff compensation are negotiated collectively, whereas educational leaders and management staff contracts are negotiated individually.

Teachers and support staff are members of a local union within a school board. Each school board operates as a distinct employer, and each has its own collective agreement with the local teachers union and the local support staff union. These locally negotiated agreements include different provisions for benefits, salary and other terms of employment.

As with Exempt Staff (educational leaders, directors and management), these employees are not members of a union. Each employee negotiates his/her own contract of employment with the school district.

Within districts, there may be remote and rural communities, which offer financial allowances to their teaching staff. This annual allowance is not offered by every district, nor is it offered to every community within a district. Learn more.

Benefits

Public education employees enjoy a comprehensive and generous assortment of benefits.

Vacation

Most support staff and exempt staff employees earn between 2 to 8 weeks of paid vacation time, incremental over years of service, plus statutory holidays. Teachers are paid an annual salary that includes vacation pay. Most often, vacation time is taken when school is not in session.

Leaves

Our sector has many paid and unpaid leaves including compassionate care, bereavement, education, maternity, parental, union or personal leave

Health Benefits

Health and welfare plans include dental, basic medical coverage, extended health benefits, group life insurance, long term disability, and sick leave

Pension

The Education Sector in BC offers very generous pension plans. The Teachers’ Pension Plan is open to all certified teachers (including teachers on call), principals and vice-principals, directors of instruction, superintendents, assistant superintendents, associated professionals and certified professionals.

It is a defined benefit plan and is based on how many years you made contributions to the plan and the average of your highest five years of salary (not necessarily your last five years). It is not based on your contributions to the plan or on the performance of the plan’s assets.

The advantage of this kind of pension plan is that your pension is payable for your lifetime, and may continue for the lifetime of your spouse or eligible dependent.

Membership in the Municipal Pension Plan is open to all eligible employees from school districts and other sectors. This plan is usually for employees who are not members of the College of Teachers and would include support staff and many exempt staff. The Municipal Pension Plan is also a defined benefit plan.

Professional Development

Each school district has funds set aside for teacher professional development.  The amount may be a lump sum that is administered based on the needs of a district.  It may also be a percentage of a teacher’s annual salary. Depending on the professional development activity and district, teachers participating in the activity may be paid or unpaid for the period of leave.

Learn more about salaries and benefits by employee group: