Orange County teachers, school district reach pay raise deal
Deal includes 5.5% pay raise, keeps current health insurance costs
ORANGE COUNTY, Fla. – After months of negotiations, Orange County teachers and the Orange County Public Schools have struck a tentative one-year deal over pay raises and insurance for the current school year.
As part of the deal, teachers will receive a 5.5% increase in payroll and health insurance coverage costs will remain at the same rate through October 2020, the Orange County Classroom Teachers Association said in a statement.
To cover the insurance cost, the school district will pay 10 months of the insurance increase for all employees for this school year.
"We think it's a victory for students, teachers, and for the community because we're hoping to fund our future. It's a step in the right direction," CTA President Wendy Doromal said.
All teachers will receive a $700 base pay raise. Effective teachers will receive an additional $1,400 salary increase or $2,100 for highly effective teachers. If approved, teachers will receive retro-pay before the end of the year.
Beginning next school year, teachers will be able to use early release days -- totaling 3 1/2 days per month -- for planning time. Only two early release days can be used by school administration for meetings or trainings.
The School Board will approve the agreement at its next meeting, pending ratification by teachers, the school district said in a statement.
Doromal said the deal is expected to pass a vote. A vote will likely happen in the first week of December.
"We are all confident this will happen because we had a telephone townhall, we had two surveys and we know what they wanted and basically they got what they asked for in this deal," she said.
The deal comes just in time as teachers and the district will go back to the negotiation table next Friday for next year's pay raises.
Teachers said they are planning a trip to Tallahassee in January to rally for higher pay.
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