BPS, Teachers’ Union End Impasse With Pay Compromise; $200 Bonus and 1.5% Salary Raise For All Educators
By Matt Reed, BPS // January 18, 2018
Early-release days will move to Fridays, pending final approval
BREVARD COUNTY • VIERA, FLORIDA – Brevard Public Schools and its teachers’ union tentatively resolved an impasse Thursday with a compromise on pay: a $200 bonus to all educators in addition to a 1.5 percent salary raise.
BPS’ most recent salary offer would give a raise of $875 per year to 4,176 teachers rated “highly effective” on performance evaluations and a raise of $600 to 376 teachers rated “effective.”
The Brevard Federation of Teachers countered in December by asking BPS to increase both raise amounts by $200.
Instead, a proposed $200 one-time bonus would go to all employees covered by the BFT contract, unlike state bonuses for which only classroom teachers can qualify. Money for bonuses from the school district would come from non-recurring budget reserves.
“We worked to financially recognize the efforts of our phenomenal employees in a way that was also fiscally responsible,” said Superintendent Desmond Blackburn.
This is an opportunity for us to get back to enjoying the collaborative relationship that has contributed to the culture and success of Brevard Public Schools.”
BPS also plans to provide the $200 bonus to non-union employees – excluding the superintendent, school board, cabinet and school board attorney. And BPS will reopen bargaining with the union for support employees, Local 1010 of the International Union of Painters and Allied Trades. Members of Local 1010 voted against a 1.5 percent pay raise in December.
In the meantime, BFT membership must vote on ratification of the contract proposal. If ratified, the contract would then go to the school board for final approval as early as Feb. 13.
Besides pay, BPS and BFT previously agreed upon 18 contract revisions including:
· Annual-contract teachers would be automatically renewed if they receive two “effective” ratings in a row on evaluations.
· Early-release days will move to Fridays.
· Teachers may use compensatory time on early-release days.
· Teachers will be ensured two meeting-free planning times per week.
· Teachers will be eligible to use 30 minutes of flextime per week – outside of student-contact times – for appointments or other needs.
Upon board approval of a contract with BFT, the salary increase for teachers would appear in their Feb. 28 paychecks. A lump sum of retroactive pay for the school year would appear in their March 30 paychecks. The $200 district bonuses would be paid in April.
“We’re settled on money,” BFT President Dan Bennett said at a bargaining meeting Thursday.
“We like that the bonus would go to all of our employees including those who are coming back from leave and teachers who are just starting their careers.”
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