CTA and the SDPBC negotiations teams met this morning (12/17/2020) for a previously unscheduled, last minute session to settle salary negotiations prior to the Winter Break.

 

The SDPBC and school board indicated that they have made their final and best offer of 3.5% minimum raises for all members of the T-Bargaining Unit. The settlement also includes the state mandated increase to a minimum salary of $47,500 for anyone currently below that level.

 

There are a few bright spots to take away, even if the final agreement fell short of our wishes, and far short of what each educator deserves for their Herculean efforts last Spring and this past Fall semester.

 

– The state mandated minimum salary of $47,500 only applied to classroom teachers, by law. However, the CTA/SDPBC were able to agree to ensure that funds were appropriated to raise ALL MEMBERS OF THE T-BARGAINING UNIT to the $47,500 level. CTA and the SDPBC were in lockstep that no member of our bargaining unit should be left behind. Even if that is precisely what the law did to educators not serving in a role providing traditional classroom instruction, as defined by state law.

 

– The district began negotiations and held tight to their original position for months, that educators slightly below or those already above $47,500 would only receive a total of 1.7% raises from the state (with no local funds being utilized to increase this small raise for our veteran educators). As your Union, we could never accept that position and refused to settle throughout the Fall semester. CTA members stepped up and communicated with school board members via email and phone calls in recent weeks, advocating for our veterans to get a better deal. As a direct result of your efforts, the SDPBC came around to our views that veterans deserved more than 1.7% raises; especially in the face of the 10%-15% being given to new(er) educators by the state.

 

– The SDPBC agreed to kick in an additional 1.8% raise for veteran educators to increase the minimum raise for any member of the T-Bargaining Unit to a total of 3.5%. This settlement agreement represents one of the better salary agreements in the state of Florida for veteran educators who were marginalized by the language in HB641.

 

– Additionally, the SDPBC and CTA will create a joint committee to analyze the financial impacts to the district, as it pertains to creating bereavement days in our collective bargaining agreement in upcoming rounds of negotiations for contract language in the Spring.

 

A ratification vote by all members of the T-Bargaining Unit must now take place (per state law) to approve or disapprove of the settlement agreement. The vote will be conducted virtually just after the Winter Break (pending approval by state agencies to conduct a virtual ratification vote). Email notices will go out when we return from break with all relevant details on the settlement agreement and ratification processes.

 

If the state approves our request for a virtual ratification vote and the members of the bargaining unit ultimately approve the agreement, educators can expect to see their raises and retroactive lump-sum raise dating back to August, around the end of January.

 

We appreciate everyone’s patience as we took the necessary time to secure the best possible outcome for all educators in the school district.

 

Have a safe and happy Winter Break!

 

In Solidarity,

 

Justin Katz

CTA President