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2022 State-Funded Cost of Living Adjustments and How They Work

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COLA victory

When lawmakers considered funding a smaller COLA, WEA members sent nearly 15,000 emails to let them know that we need to keep up with inflation.  By taking action together we won more money for our paychecks to keep up with inflation. 

Public K-12 and higher ed employees

For all our bargaining units in public education, the state has increased the funding for salaries.

How the state funded salary increase is applied to members of a bargaining unit will depend on what has been negotiated at the local level on how state funded increases in salary allocations have flowed through to the locally bargained salary schedule.

If your local has not already addressed this, the increase in funding may not be automatic and may need to be bargained.

Your local union’s ability to secure the full amount (or more!) is largely determined by your union’s strength and unity. Although the increase in funding for salaries is applied to state funded positions and programs, the bargained salary increase must apply to all district employees regardless of their funding source in the 2022-2023 school year. 

  • K-12 funding will include a 5.5% COLA.  (Effective Sept. 1)
  • Community and technical colleges will receive 4.743%. (Effective July 1)
  • 4-year faculty institutions receive 3.25%. (Effective July 1)

Why 5.5% for K-12?

The intent of COLAs is to keep pace with inflation as designated by the Implicit Price Deflator (IPD) over the long-term. Budgeting timelines determine that state funded COLAs are based on projected, not actual, IPD.  5.5% for 2022-2023 will bring salaries in line with IPD over the last five years.

IPD 2022 chart 2IPD 2022 chart 1


For retirees, the increase is automatically added to the pension check starting July 1. 

  • Plan 1 retirees receive 3% increase this July, up to $110 a month.
  • Plan 2 members have an automatic annual COLA on their pensions built in (Consumer Price Index to 3% per year each year).  
  • For Plan 3, the same automatic COLA is provided up to 3% per year, but is applied to the 1% pension funded by district contributions.  Your individual contributions are invested as you have directed and any growth will come from those investments, not specifically tied to an inflation measure.  

More information on retiree COLAs.

Let's keep winning for public education

These COLAs are only possible because in WEA-PAC we have a strong non-partisan voice to elect pro-labor, pro-education candidates. It makes a difference when our lawmakers understand the importance of public education and supporting educators.  Now is a great time to join educators from across the state in WEA-PAC or to increase your contribution!

Posted in: Education funding | COLA
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