FORT LAUDERDALE (CBSMiami) – Teachers in Broward County should receive pay that is owed to them for teaching an additional class period last year.
The Sun Sentinel reports an arbitrator, Richard Zaiger, ruled the school district violated a union contract by switching high schools to seven-period schedules.
When that happened, more than 3,000 teachers were not compensated to teach an extra class the paper reported.
Zaiger has ordered the district to give the teachers back pay which according to the Broward Teachers Union would total an estimated $40 million.
District officials plan to meet Friday morning to discuss the ruling with the union.
Union president Sharon Glickman said the ruling offered much-needed relief, the paper reported.
Glickman added teaching one more class came with extra grading, parent-teacher conferences and one-on-one time with students.
“These teachers are so overstressed … they were exhausted,” she told the paper.
Before the changes for the 2012-13 school year, high schools had five classes and teachers volunteered to teach a sixth class for additional pay.
The union contract states teachers are paid to work 7.5 hour days and no more than 300 minutes of that for teaching classes according to the paper.
Zaiger said teaching six classes doesn’t exceed the time allowed, but ruled teachers must volunteer to teach the additional class, not be required to do so.
This is the second time an arbitrator ruled in favor of the union over changes made to high school schedules, the paper reported.
In June, another arbitrator said switching to seven-period days did not abide with the teacher’s contract and ordered the district to revert to the old high school schedules.
Broward County has no plans to discontinue the seven-period scheduling.
School officials, meanwhile, have said the changes helped meet class size requirements and avoided steep fines from the state.
The Sun Sentinel contributed to this report.