ORLANDO, Fla. – The Orange County Classroom Teachers Association resolved its impasse with the Orange County Public School board late Friday night, following a “long and tense process” as the union said it fought for fair treatment of teachers.
According to a news release Saturday, the union had initiated the impasse procedure over the summer in order to secure livable wage increases, supplements for lead nurses and longevity supplements for veteran educators, as well as to prevent increases to teachers’ health insurance.
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Clinton McCracken, an OCPS teacher of 20 years at Howard Middle School who presented the union’s case at special school board meetings that began Wednesday, said they were excited for the outcome.
“Teachers deserve more than what we are being offered, but I think what we finally got to last night, it was more than the district had finally offered,” McCracken said. “It’s a little something to say that ‘We value you.’”
OCCTA President Wendy Doromal said the agreement was reached with help from the strongest bargaining team she has ever had the honor to work with.
“They put in hours and hours on trying to get a decent salary for the hardworking educators in Orange County,” Doromal said. “I’m really pleased that teachers are getting more than 2-12 cents an hour that the district originally offered, which was really unacceptable and disrespectful, and it’s actually one of the best deals in the state.”
Doromal said the original offer was “insulting,” but that the school board’s latest decision recognized the work of teachers.
In a statement, OCPS said it was pleased that its board decided to approve the much deserved supplements, bonuses and salary increases for the 2021-22 school year.
“All of our teachers have worked extremely hard and done an amazing job during very difficult times and deserve this compensation,” the district said. “While we are disappointed this has taken so long, we are delighted that we have reached a resolution.”
Here’s what the district’s positions were at the time the impasse was declared, and after it was resolved:
- Recurring wage increases
- BEFORE - $25 cost-of-living adjustment, plus $100 for effective teachers and $150 for highly effective teachers.
- AFTER - $100 cost-of-living adjustment, plus $200 for effective teachers and $400 for highly effective teachers.
- One-time supplement
- BEFORE - $2,500
- AFTER - $2,500
- Longevity supplement (three-year supplement, based on years of experience with OCPS)
- BEFORE - N/A
- AFTER - $500 for 5-9 years, $1,000 for 10-14 years, $1,500 for 15-19 years, $2,000 for 20-24 years, $2,500 for 25-29 years and $3,000 for 30 or more years.
- Health insurance
- BEFORE - Plan changes, including increases to deductibles and out-of-pocket expenses. No increase to premiums for 2021-22 and 2022-23.
- AFTER - No insurance increases this school year, and plan changes won’t take effect until October 2022. No increases to premiums for the 2021-22, 2022-23 and 2023-24 school years.
- Lead nurse supplement
- BEFORE - N/A
- AFTER - Lead nurses get 5% salary supplement.