FT LAUDERDALE (CBSMiami) – Broward teachers, all 14 thousand of them, after much persistence, learned Friday that they will be receiving their raises.
The county’s school district and the Broward Teachers Union announced Friday that after six months of bargaining they had a reached a tentative agreement which was approved by the union members.
“Our commitment to student success starts with hiring great teachers and supporting them to the greatest extent possible,” said Superintendent Robert W. Runcie in a statement. “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.”
The raise was approved Friday afternoon.
“Because for years we’ve been either frozen or have had a minimal jump. I’m happy with it,” said Damian O’Brien.
“We have had three percent taken out for the last two years forcing us to pay the retirement fund so this will make up some of that,” said William Mcintyre, a high school counselor.
Beginning with the 2013/14 school year, the agreement commits salary to teachers totaling $61.8 million over the next three years, contingent upon state funding.
“We tried to be equitable across the board with new teachers and veterans so everyone was compensated fairly,” said Jon Burns, a union negotiator.
Salary increases for this school year are funded from $47 million in Teacher Allocation dollars approved by Governor Rick Scott and the Legislature earlier this year. The Teacher Allocation funds must be collectively bargained prior to June 30, 2014 and must also be paid to charter school teachers, principals and assistant principals.
“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,” said BTU President Sharon Glickman in a statement. “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.”
According to terms of the deal, “teachers will receive a step increase on a negotiated salary schedule in the first year with most teachers receiving an average of a 4.9% salary increase and an average salary of $1300 in the second year and more than $800 average salary increase in the third year,” according to a statement from the school district.
Other terms of the plan include:
-Adopting a performance pay plan for newly hired employees after July 1, 2014 funded by Race to the Top grant money.
-Continued commitment to pay 100% of healthcare premium costs for employees.
-Establish high school schedule options and maintain teachers’ voice in the process.
-An annual $6000 supplement to teach an extra period.
-Annual supplement to teach a sixth period at high schools.