Orange County Schools approves proposed teacher salary agreement

Mail-in votes will now be sent to 14,000 members of the teachers union

By Troy Campbell - Reporter

ORLANDO, Fla. - The Orange County School boardroom was filled Tuesday evening as the board approved a proposed salary agreement. 

Following the board’s approval, mail-in votes will now be sent to 14,000 members of the teachers union. 

Several board members expressed it’s unlikely teachers will approve the contract, but in order to prevent unfair legal practice complaints, it was a safe next step in the process. 

Wendy Dormal is the president of the Orange County Classroom Teachers Association. The CTA is tasked to negotiate teacher pay on behalf of the teacher’s union. 
 
“If teachers vote it down, we go back to the table, but our understanding is this how much money we have, said Dormal. 

The agreement passed on Tuesday includes a 4 percent pay increase for starting teachers, which equals $500. 

The school district said it is facing an $11 million dollar insurance deficit, so it had no other options. 

“Our entire future depends on our teachers and yet we are not taking enough care of them financially, and that’s very, it hurts,” said Orange County School Board Chair Teresa Jacobs.

Several teachers spoke during public comment, all calling for a higher increase in pay. 

“I’m going to ask you to not to vote tonight. Clearly, this thing is not going to pass. I’ve never seen anything like this. And it’s growing. It’s just getting bigger and bigger,” said Mark Nolan. 

Several hundred people were wearing red during the meeting, to support the teachers. 

Several teachers also expressed concern that with increasing rental rates in Orlando, they are not able to find affordable housing. 

Several board members also raised concern that a delay in the contract approval could cause teachers to miss open enrollment for their health insurance. 

The results for the teacher approval votes are expected at the end of July.
 

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