DeLand, FL – The teachers’ union for Volusia County rejected a three-year pay raise package proposal from the Volusia County School Board on Wednesday.
The school board is proposing a 5% raise for teachers over a three-year period (1% for the upcoming school year, and 2% for the following two years), plus an $800 bonus. Raises for 2019-2020 and 2020-2021 would be contingent on funding from the State Legislature.
In addition, the school board is now also proposing extending its dental insurance subsidy for three years. The school district says it is facing funding issues since the State only provided a .01% increase in the base student allocation for the upcoming school year.
The teachers’ union has altered its proposal from a 2.5% raise to a 2% pay raise for next year and 3% for the following two years, contingent on funding from the state. You can find earlier reporting here.
The school board says it was trying to negotiate in good faith. “We hoped that the many compromises we proposed would allow the union to meet in the middle,” district bargaining team member Rachel Hazel says. “Unfortunately, that did not happen.”
Andrew Spar, president of Volusia United Educators, says the union did not agree with what he called the district’s “take it or leave it attitude.” “We had been led to believe the district was willing to compromise and have a serious discussion. Unfortunately, we now know that the district’s intent was to offer a package and either we agreed to it, or not. That is not a productive way to approach negotiations,” says Spar.
The union and the school district are also at odds over a proposal to add an additional 30 minutes a day of instructional time for elementary schools to cover the time lost due to state-mandated recess. “It would be equalizing the number of hours elementary school teachers work to the same hours that secondary teachers work,” says Hazel.
Spar says the school district is “proposing to increase the workload for the employees and not give them enough time to get the work done that they already have.”
There are no further meetings scheduled between the two sides before the next fiscal year. Any further negotiations regarding the upcoming school year are expected to be handled by attorneys for both sides.