Goal for bargaining is across-the-board raise in time for winter break
Bargaining on this year’s cost-of-living increase, for all employees across the board, will begin Monday. We hope the bargaining finishes quickly. We hope it finishes in time for staff to receive their retroactive pay by the winter recess.
The state has been getting more and more involved in local bargaining of late. They want bargaining completed more quickly each year, and they are dedicating funds that disproportionately increase the beginning (minimum) teacher salary.
This causes other teachers to resent that beginning teacher salaries are increasing at a more rapid rate than all other teacher salaries, as certain state revenues can only be used to increase those salaries.
In the past few years, we’ve been able to negotiate fair raises that assure ALL teacher salaries have been increasing. But the fact remains: due to state policy, beginning teacher salaries will increase faster than other teacher salaries, until the state abandons that policy.
It is important to note that we no longer have a stepped salary schedule (and have not for many years). Each year, instead of receiving a step, a teacher receives an automatic increase of 0.5% of their entire base salary.
This way, all the money we negotiate on your behalf goes on your base salary and is carried forward into future years.
One of the great push-pulls of bargaining is that we want all salary increases to be in the form of an across-the-board increase that goes forward into the future. Historically, management has pushed for one-time bonus money that disappears at the end of that school year. Of course, this year we are negotiating with a new management team, so perhaps their approach will be different.
It is our hope that we will be able to bargain a fair settlement for our members that maintains our status as the highest-paid teaching staff in the state of Florida.
— Barry Dubin, Executive Director, SC/TA