TEACHER’S UNION: Negotiations Stall as Brevard Public Schools Fall Short of Their Promises
By Vanessa Skipper, BFT Vice President // September 18, 2019
Brevard Federation of Teachers: 'Over half the teachers employed by BPS make less than $44,000'
BREVARD COUNTY, FLORIDA – The School Board of Brevard County showed us the same song and dance of years past with the salary proposal they sent with their negotiating team.
The superintendent gave us his word that he was dedicated to fixing the wage compression issue that we have in Brevard County; however, when the district’s team countered with a salary proposal, they reduced our $2,000 recurring longevity supplement eligible for FRS to a $550 non-recurring supplement.
It was the intent of the wage group to begin fixing the wage compression issues of those educators who stayed loyal to the district during the recession and multiples pay freezes while also instituting a way to retain educators who can look to year twelve and know they will begin receiving this longevity supplement.
Starting this supplement gives all of us the opportunity to make sure experienced, dedicated, and excellent educators are in front of every student in every desk in every classroom in every school in Brevard.
In addition, their counter for salary is significantly less than what we brought to the table and less than they can afford.
In order to take away from the fact that they offered less money, they used a distracting technique of offering a true percentage while not admitting that more than half of their workforce would not receive the amount listed in their examples passed across the negotiating table.
They are proposing a 3.5% for highly effective, and 2.5% for effective.
On their high-end example, for highly effective teachers making $61,000, the raise would be $2,135, and on their low-end example, highly effective teachers making $44,000, the raise would be $1,540.
Over half the teachers employed by BPS make less than $44,000, with $43,957 being the median salary in Brevard County.
Out of the 13 language proposals we brought to the table yesterday, they accepted one, rejected three, tabled two for more research, and countered the rest with significantly weaker language that ultimately changed the intent of the proposals.
Some of the changes and reasons ultimately show they do not value us as professionals who work hard every day to make sure this district achieves and receives the acclaim that it does.
“After 96% of teachers rejected last year’s contract, it’s beyond disappointing that the Brevard County School Board continues to negotiate in bad faith,” said Anthony Colucci, President of the Brevard Federation of Teachers.
“Agreeing to one out of 13 union’s proposals and only putting half the money on the table is disrespectful to our teachers.”
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