Orange County teachers reject latest salary offer, return to bargaining table

CTA: Teachers seek 1-year contract with higher pay, affordable health insurance

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ORANGE COUNTY, Fla. – Orange County Classroom Teachers Association leaders were back at the bargaining table Wednesday to negotiate higher teacher pay after rejecting the latest salary offer from the school district.

Last week, Orange County Public Schools proposed a two-year deal with a 6% raise for teachers, calling it the largest raise offered of any local district.

CTA union leaders rejected that offer.

"I think the reason teachers rejected the two-year deal is because the money was presented as a two-year deal with the money put upfront," union President Wendy Doromal said.

Doromal said 79% of teachers took a survey and are pushing for a one-year offer that includes higher pay and affordable health insurance.

"Teachers have said explicitly they can not afford an insurance rate," Doromal explained.

OCPS said it would pay half of the insurance increases for all employees in the first year, through January 2020 and would reopen salary negotiations if state funding is available.

"We really want to get the raises in the pockets of our teachers and instructional staff as soon as we can. They deserve them," Doromal said.

Below is a summary of the OCPS school board's comprehensive offer:

•    Teachers rated "Highly Effective" will receive a $3,000 annual salary increase
•    Teachers rated "Effective" will receive a $2,400 annual salary increase
•    District will pay half the cost of the insurance increase for all employees in the first year (through Jan. 2020) $8 million
•    Two-year deal with the full 6% increase upfront
•    Estimated retro pay back to first duty-day would include $1,071 (gross) for "Highly Effective" and $857 (gross) for "Effective" in their December paycheck

About the Author:

Ezzy Castro is a multimedia journalist on News 6's morning team who has a passion for telling the stories of the people in the Central Florida community. Ezzy worked at WFOR CBS4 in South Florida and KBMT in Beaumont, Texas, where she covered Hurricane Harvey in 2017. Being from Miami, Ezzy loves Cuban coffee and croquetas!