robert runcie_web.jpgPublic school teachers, support and clerical personnel in Broward and Miami-Dade are set to get raises after reaching tentative agreements with their unions. Palm Beach County Public Schools are still negotiating.

“This is a momentous day for teachers in Miami-Dade,” said Superintendent Alberto M. Carvalho. “The combination of compensation increases and a superior benefits package will reward those who have the greatest impact on the future of our students: our teachers and support personnel.”

Despite a lack of sufficient funding from Tallahassee, the salary model ensures that the average base salary increase for teachers under the tentative agreement is 4.26 percent. Additionally, all existing teachers will receive compensation increases of close to $2,500 through a combination of one or more of the following: base salary increases, one-time supplement payments, and Race to the Top performance pay.

All teachers will be eligible for Race to the Top performance pay. A total of $20 million will be awarded, with individual awards ranging from about $1,000 to $4,000.  When including base salary increases as well as Race to the Top performance pay, the

average salary increase under the tentative agreement for teachers is 6.51 percent. Instructional support personnel (paraprofessionals, security monitors, and UTD office personnel) will also receive a 2.3 percent salary increase plus a one-time supplement of $331.

The total cost of this salary proposal for both teachers and educational support personnel is $70 million.

Beginning July 1, 2014, Florida will require all districts to have two compensation systems: a performance pay system for annual contract teachers and a “grandfathered” system for teachers with professional service and continuing contracts. The tentative agreement results in the maintenance of a no-cost healthcare option for employees and continued subsidy of dependent coverage. 

This tentative agreement is subject to ratification by, the United Teachers of Dade membership and approvals by the School Board of Miami-Dade County.

This is the largest increase for the district’s teachers and paraprofessionals in years.

“This is an important step in the right direction,” said UTD President Fedrick Ingram. “Miami’s teachers and support staff sacrifice so much. They have lost ground during the great recession. This agreement marks the beginning of turning this around. We creatively used a combination of local, state, and federal dollars to fund this agreement. It wasn’t easy, but it had to happen.”

UTD members will begin receiving details on the proposed agreement beginning Oct. 14. A ratification vote by paper ballot will  be scheduled later this month and will be held at school and work sites. 

Results will then be publicly announced.

 Broward County Public Schools reached its tentative agreement Oct. 18., regarding teacher compensation. The agreement was reached after six months of bargaining between BCPS and Broward Teachers Union.

Discussions centered on several key issues, including performance pay, teacher allocation funding from the state, and guidelines for high school schedule options as a result of two arbitration rulings issued earlier this year. 

Beginning with the 2013/14 school year, the tentative agreement commits salary to teachers totaling $61.8 million over the next three years, contingent upon state funding. Salary increases for this school year are funded from $47 million in Teacher Allocation dollars approved by Governor Scott and the Legislature earlier this year.

“Our commitment to student success starts with hiring great teachers and supporting them to the greatest extent possible,” said Superintendent Robert W. Runcie. “This tentative agreement continues our investment in our hard-working instructional staff and our quest to make Broward County Public Schools the best in the nation. It’s a win for our teachers, students and community.”

Key details of the tentative agreement are listed below:

• A step increase on a negotiated salary schedule in the first year with most teachers receiving an average of a 4.9 percent salary increase and an average

salary of $1,300 in the second year and more than $800 average salary increase in the third year;

• Adopting a performance pay plan for newly hired employees after July 1, 2014 funded by Race to the Top Grant monies;

• Explore a commitment to subsidize costs for dependent care during the 2014-15 school year;

• Study options to offer an Early Retirement Plan during the 2014-15 school year;

• Continued commitment to pay 100 percent of healthcare premium costs for employees;

• Protection of health information in compliance to the Health Insurance Portability Accountability Act (HIPAA);

• Establish high school schedule options and maintain teachers’ voice in the process;

• An annual $6,000 supplement to teach an extra period; and

• An annual supplement to teach a sixth period at high schools.

In addition, talks have continued on the pending arbitration rulings, and settlement was reached between both parties. 

Key details of the settlement include:

• Hourly compensation for teachers who taught a sixth period during the 2012/13 school year; and

• Hourly compensation through Oct. 31 for high school teachers who are teaching a sixth period in the 2013/14 school year.

The District intends to begin payment as quickly as possible to affected teachers as per the arbitration rulings.

“Today’s tentative contract agreement for Broward schools instructional staff is an important step forward for our members and their students,” BTU President Sharon Glickman said. “BTU recognizes that it is only one step for our members on the long road back to economic recovery after facing so many challenging years. This is a $62 million agreement that is the only three year compensation agreement in the state, which will provide important stability to our schools.”