Orange County teachers, school district return to contract bargaining table

Teachers, school district officials take part in two-day bargaining session

ORANGE COUNTY, Fla. – Orange County Classroom Teachers Association leaders returned to the bargaining table Wednesday to renew their efforts continue to negotiate higher wages from the school district.

The meeting was the first of a scheduled two-day bargaining session between the CTA and Orange County Public Schools. Wednesday's session was focused on impact bargaining issues, such as recent legislation passed by state lawmakers.

"We'll be addressing things like the 'Best and Brightest' bonuses and how that will be paid out," CTA President Wendy Dormal said.

[RELATED: Orange County teachers reject latest salary offer, return to bargaining tableOrange County Public Schools offers 6% pay increase for teachers]

Last month, union leaders rejected a proposal from the district. The offer called for a two-year contract for teachers that included a 6% raise.

Instead, CTA passed a proposal on Oct. 30 that called for a one-year deal with OCPS absorbing the cost of insurance increases for employees.

Dormal said a survey of 3,960 teachers showed 92% voted against the district's proposal and 79% said they wanted a one-year deal.

"What OCPS educators want to gain at the bargaining table is contract language that respects them as professionals, improved working conditions, affordable health care benefits, and the higher wages that they deserve. CTA is eager to negotiate such a deal," Dormal said.

[MORE: Florida governor proposes minimum teacher salary of $47,500]

After Wednesday's session, the CTA and OCPS negotiators are scheduled to address salaries, benefits and working conditions when they return to the bargaining table Friday.

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