School Board Instructs Superintendent to 'Fix This'

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DeLand, FL - It took until 2:21 a.m. today (September 18) for the Impass Hearing, involving the Volusia County School District and Volusia United Educators to end after a 4 p.m. start yesterday (September 17). There were a number of issues to be worked out. VUE President Elizabeth Albert said that things went better than expected. She said when School Board Chair Ida Wright said "Fix this," to School Superintendent Dr. Carmen Balgobin and to separate Traditional Classroom Setting and Volusia Live out. "I was really happy with that the mindset of the Board was, you're either going to do it, or you're going to pay people." 

Teachers who teach both Traditional Classroom Setting and Volusia Live will get an extra $500 for the first nine weeks. If the two are not separated by the second nine weeks, they will get another $500.  Albert said the $500 payments are to incentivize the district to get the options separated because "they say they don't have any money.

An item on VUE's "wish list" is with the retirement incentive. "We got the 15 percent with the longevity, which actually puts more money in people's pockets than the 17 percent without the longevity."

With the Impasse Hearing over, the next step for VUE and Albert is to write up the items that were agreed upon and have it ratified by union members. She says she doesn't see an issue with ratification. "I believe that most of the members just wanted some resolution. They wanted to have a clear understanding of where the Board's position  was. I have to say there was a different tone from the members last night. It's one that has led me to believe that, while they're not fully iunderstanding what everyone is going through, they are listening."

There are four items that will be looked at during workshops in the near future. Albert says that VUE will work with the School Board  and have input into these items. She also said that VUE removed one item completely. 

Overall, Albert said she's fairly happy with the outcome. "I didn't go in there expecting to get a whole lot and I came out, I feel like that we got more than I expected we would. I'm happy about that."  

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