BREVARD COUNTY, Fla. — Amid ongoing teacher pay negotiations, the Brevard County teachers union has submitted its vote on the language and terms of the contract for the 2018-19 school year's compensation.
- Over 96 percent voted "no"
- Brevard Federation of Teachers declared impasse in December
- If terms approved, teachers will be paid at new rate this week
- RELATED: Brevard Teachers Push for Better Wages Amid $1.5M District Surplus
Teachers voted on the contract terms Friday, and the results were announced during a School Board meeting early Tuesday evening.
Over 96 percent voted "no".
Due to teachers rejecting the contract, only the financial portion that includes raises, bonuses, and supplements will take effect.
For months, teachers have been represented by the federation and fighting for better pay. The Brevard Federation of Teachers had previously told its members to vote "no" on the contract amid negotiations that union president Anthony Colucci called contentious. The union declared an impasse in December and has continued to seek a five percent average raise.
The proposed contract would keep teacher pay ahead of inflation and will reward strong performance, teachers say.
The union's firm recommendation is $2,300 for teachers rated "highly effective," and $1,727 for "effective" teachers. The proposed contract includes a bonus of $500 for first-year teachers who are returning for the 2019-2020 school year. A significant increase for Exceptional Student Education teachers is also proposed, increasing the supplemental pay from $165 per year to $1,000 per year.
"Eighty-four percent of eligible voters voted on the contract. That amounted to 4,048 voting on the contract. It's the highest turnout we have on record," Colucci said.
Teachers were to be paid at their new salary rate starting with their August 15 pay deposits. Retroactive pay and bonuses were to be paid in deposits to appear August 19 to August 21.
"Going forward, the superintendent is going to make some recommendations, whether that's to go for additional mileage, make structural changes or cut some programs," he added.
Brevard School Board Chairwoman Tina Descovich said in a statement: "(We) are looking forward to working with both the BFT and the District as we seek long term solutions to our shared goal of increasing teacher pay."
Superintendent Mark Mullins presented to the union a report from a third-party review of savings from retirements. That review verified an additional $1.5 million from retirements of all types of district employees that could be considered in negotiations.