FORT LAUDERDALE, Fla. – The Broward County School Board approved a new contract with the teachers union Tuesday that includes a 2.16% pay increase for educators.
The raise will be retroactive to January despite the union initially advocating for the raise to retroactive to August 2018. The Broward Teachers Union had been in tense negotiations with the district, pushing for a 4% pay hike for teachers, but rising health care costs forced some concessions.
"Well, I feel relieved that it was able to get passed, but I have to tell you, it was a little bit of a struggle. Our teachers were expecting more," said Anna Fusco, president of the Broward Teachers Union.
The pay raise is only for the current school year, and negotiations over teacher salaries will soon begin for the 2019/2020 school year.
The new contract gives stability to teachers who are working on a probationary status. The contract says that if a teacher is "released" by the last week of the school year and rehired by the first week of school year, they get to maintain their status and not get returned to a probationary status.
The contract also strengthens the district’s relationship with probationary teachers.
"We are hamstrung in many ways by the funding that comes from the state of Florida, but we try to do whatever we can to make sure we’re addressing the needs of our teachers," Broward Schools Superintendent Robert Runcie said.