BROWARD COUNTY, Fla. – Broward County Public Schools held a joint news conference Friday with the Broward Teachers Union to announce a tentative agreement regarding teacher compensation.
The agreement was reached Friday after six months of bargaining between the parties, the district said.
Discussions centered on several key issues, including performance pay, teacher allocation funding from the State, and guidelines for High School schedule options as a result of two arbitration rulings issued earlier this year.
Beginning with the 2013/14 school year, the district said the tentative agreement commits salary to teachers totaling $61.8 million over the next three years, contingent upon State funding.
Salary increases for this school year are funded from $47 million in Teacher Allocation dollars approved by Gov. Scott and the Legislature earlier this year.
School officials said 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.
"Our commitment to student success starts with hiring great teachers and supporting them to the greatest extent possible," said Superintendent Robert W. Runcie. "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."
Key details of the tentative agreement are:
- A step increase on a negotiated salary schedule in the first year with most teachers receiving an average of a 4.9 percent salary increase and an average salary of $1,300 in the second year and more than $800 average salary increase in the third year;
- Adopting a performance pay plan for newly hired employees after July 1, 2014 funded by Race to the Top Grant monies;
- Explore a commitment to subsidize costs for dependent care during the 2014/15 school year;
- Study options to offer an Early Retirement Plan during the 2014/15 school year;
- Continued commitment to pay 100 percent of healthcare premium costs for employees;
- Protection of health information in compliance to the Health Insurance Portability Accountability Act;
- Establish High School schedule options and maintain teachers' voice in the process;
- An annual $6,000 supplement to teach an extra period; and
- An annual supplement to teach a sixth period at high schools
In addition, the district said talks have continued on the pending arbitration rulings, and settlement was reached between both parties. Key details of the settlement include:
- Hourly compensation for teachers who taught a sixth period during the 2012/13 school year; and
- Hourly compensation through Oct. 31, 2013 for high school teachers who are teaching a sixth period in the 2013/14 school year.
The district said it intends to begin payment as quickly as possible to affected teachers as per the arbitration rulings.
"Today's tentative contract agreement for Broward schools instructional staff is an important step forward for our members and their students," BTU President Sharon Glickman said. "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. 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."
To watch Friday's news conference, click here.