Seminole's Education Professionals
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ESP Bargaining Update - We have a Settlement!
Negotiators for SECA, NIPSCO, and SCSBDA
met last Wednesday, May 15th to continue
bargaining for 2012-13. We are happy to report that for the first
time in 3 years there will be a recurring increase to SECA members,
which means that there will be money added to your current hourly
wage instead of a bonus as we have had in the past two years. Your
current wage will be increased by 2.7% for 2012-13, and that
increase will be retroactive to the beginning of the school year.
Before any increases are provided and any
retro payments are made to employees, all ESP units must conduct a
ratification vote to approve the changes to the scale. Ratification
materials, including a document to show all changes, are being
prepared right now, and will be out to members early next week.
Voting for the new agreement will take place on Thursday, May 23 for
Bus Drivers and Monitors at both the Winter Springs and Midway
compounds, while NIPSCO and SECA will conduct ratification votes at
worksites May 28 and 29. Following ratification by all three units,
the Board will vote at its June 11th meeting, just in time to get
payments out to employees before the fiscal year ends.
Good Morning SEA Members:
Last night, the bargaining impasse meeting took place. The short version: the Board imposed its own proposal and teachers will have to ratify in the coming weeks. The attachment shows the new salary amounts for teachers. For those who want to read more of the details, read on…
Impasse Hearing Report, May 16th
On Wednesday, May 15, the SEA and Board bargaining teams presented their last best offers for final action. Under Florida’s collective bargaining law, the School Board must reconstitute itself into an impartial Legislative Body which hears the arguments of both sides and imposes resolutions to all outstanding issues in 2012-13 bargaining. The central issue, of course, was the salary scale. Over 100 teachers clad in black attended the hearing which started at 6:00 pm and lasted nearly two hours.
SEA presented first, making the case
that under the Board proposal a majority of teachers would
experience a longer trip to the end of the scale, would be on steps
with other teachers who have 1-2 years more or less experience, and
would see lowered career earnings and reduced retirement benefits.
Examples were provided to the Legislative Body, showing the damaging
effects to teachers throughout several points in the scale.
Additionally, SEA presented the benefits of its own proposal,
demonstrating that the parties were very close in terms of overall
cost, and that several common goals had been met, such as a $1,000
increase to the base salary ($37,000), stratification of advanced
degree differentials, and a conscious effort to address step
intervals in preparation for performance pay which is scheduled for
2014-15. SEA also made the case that there is still another
year to make further changes in order to meet coming requirements
and was prepared to do so immediately following this year’s
The Board team then presented its case, stating that it felt its proposed scale would put the District in a better position to deal with the costs associated with making a performance pay system 2 school years from now. Also, it attempted to criticize the SEA proposal by indicating that it wasn’t affordable (although several line items in the budget are underspent $8-20 million each year, such as Instruction and Supplies). The Board also defended its decisions regarding the Fund Balance, although it continues to hold more than double the amount required by its own 4% fund balance policy.
Following the presentations, the
Legislative Body concluded its hearing, took a brief intermission,
and convened a special meeting of the School Board in order to take
action on the unresolved issues. A motion was made to accept
the Board proposal and then the Board members asked questions to
both chief negotiators. Discussion ensued about career
earnings, as the Board members, through their questions, indicated
that bargaining is simply year to year, and that the amounts are not
promises of money to teachers, but they only show different pay for
different places on the scale. SEA countered, indicating that
it wanted to keep an experience-based scale with differentiated pay
despite changes in the law because it honors experience and
The Board ultimately voted 5-0 to
accept its own proposal. This means that teachers will
transition to the new scale based upon their current pay indexes, as
shown in the attachment. Ratification will be occurring May 27-28 at
worksites and the Board will ratify at its meeting on June 11th,
in time to get retroactive payments to teachers before the summer
break. Materials will be coming to your faculty reps early
next week and a document reflecting the changes will be provided for
review as well.
Thanks to all teachers who have been
calling, writing, emailing, attending SEA meetings, and attending
School Board meetings in an effort to get involved in the bargaining
process. Your SEA team did a great job of representing you and
your interests again this year and will continue to fight for what’s
right. More challenges await the bargaining team next year,
and your team will be focused on bargaining a contract which
provides teachers the respect they deserve.
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