Newspaper article The Florida Times Union

No Deal Yet on Teacher Salaries; Further Talks Not Scheduled

Newspaper article The Florida Times Union

No Deal Yet on Teacher Salaries; Further Talks Not Scheduled

Article excerpt

Byline: Cynthia L. Garza, Times-Union staff writer

Two weeks into the school year, Duval County school officials and the teachers union still have not settled on teacher salaries, although such benefits as health insurance are nearly a done deal.

Salary has been the sticking point of recent bargaining sessions.

The teachers union has rejected the first and second salary proposals the school system has placed on the bargaining table. Both negotiating teams met Aug. 6 and Aug. 13 but didn't reach an agreement either time.

A date has not been set for the next negotiation meeting.

School system officials have proposed a step increase in salary for all teachers. The disagreement now is over teachers who have reached the last step and can no longer climb in salary, according to Vicki Reynolds, assistant superintendent for human resource services.

School officials first proposed a $350 and then a $500 one-time supplement, which the teachers' union rejected.

Duval Teachers United President Terrie Brady said they are working to put any supplements on the salary schedule, which would make them recurring funds.

"This is a pretty bad year" in terms of the budget, Reynolds said.

Reynolds said she has been pleased the School Board was able to come up with the money for step increases for teachers. "When I started out [negotiating], I figured there would be no raises."

Just to move a step for all teachers costs $4.05 million, she said.

Duval County public schools have nearly 7,000 teachers. Currently, starting salary for a teacher with a bachelor's degree is $30,000 and goes up to $51,644 for teachers at the top of the salary schedule, according to school officials.

The teachers union also rejected a proposed step increase for paraprofessionals and a one-time $350 supplement for those at the top of the salary schedule. …

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