Putting Education Reform To The Test

How Florida School Districts Are Negotiating Next Year’s Teacher Contracts

Joe Raedle / Getty Images News

Teachers rally against proposed state budget cuts in March 2011.

Contract negotiations between Florida’s school districts and teacher unions is in full swing, but district face very different budget situations.

Here’s a roundup of labor news around the state from the past week:

Palm Beach County is facing a $31.7 million budget shortfall, but the teachers’ union is asking for raises, according to the South Florida Sun-Sentinel. Negotiations are expected to begin this month.

Sarasota County teachers can expect their first pay bump after four years of salary cuts and paying more for benefits, the Sarasota Herald-Tribune reports. The district and union have agreed to a 2.2 percent bonus for next year’s contract.

In Martin County, the school district is trying to keep a new evaluation out of next year’s contract, according to TCPalm.com. The district and union agreed to step pay increases for the end of the current year and next year.

Teachers in Marion County will receive step pay increases that have been frozen since 2009 — a total of $1.6 million in additional pay — according to the Ocala Star-Banner.

Brevard County teachers are pushing for across-the-board raises, according to Florida Today, but the district wants targeted one-time bonuses instead. The longest-tenured teachers would receive $700 — twice what recently hired teachers would receive. The offer is less than the district’s initial 2.2 percent bonus proposal.

In the Keys, Monroe County teachers are volunteering for a pay cut rather than absorb cuts to health insurance and other benefits that the district has proposed, according to The Keynoter. The district is facing a $9.2 million shortfall — 12.4 percent of the expected budget.


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