The Palm Beach County Classroom Teachers Association has reached a tentative agreement on a new contract. It must be ratified by teachers and then adopted by the School Board before it goes into effect.
Under the tentative agreement:
- The teachers’ salary schedule is increased $500 across the board effective May 1, 2011 and remains effective throughout the 2011-2012 school year.
- The contract’s expiration date is extended from June 30, 2012 to June 30, 2014.
- The flexibility the district needs to meet class size requirements next school year and in the future is provided by establishing several pilot programs that, unless agreed to otherwise in the future, will sunset at the expiration of the contract (June 30, 2014).
- The CTA and the district will continue working to establish a new CTAS Handbook and to amend Article II, Section G of the contract to bring both documents into compliance with new state statutes on teacher evaluation and with all Florida DOE directives, rules and regulations relating to the evaluation of instructional employees.
- Administrators re-entering the classroom will be allowed to have their administrative experience in the district count for placement purposes on the teachers’ salary schedule, minus four steps because teachers have not been granted steps for this number of years.
- A joint study committee will be established to make recommendations on the feasibility and desirability of the district to allow teachers to enroll their age-appropriate dependent children in a school’s After Care Program and/or in the district’s Pre-K Program for a reduced fee, or possibly for free. The target date for a recommendation is Dec. 16, 2011.
“I am thrilled that the district and CTA were able to reach tentative agreement during contract negotiations,” said Superintendent Bill Malone. “[The late association president] Mr. Dow advocated for a cooperative approach that would focus on solutions. The parties in this negotiation were determined to get to ‘yes.’”
“Although this agreement is not fully satisfying to either party, there was a mutual recognition of each other’s limitations, and the result honored the limitations and yet reflected significant compromise on both sides,” he said.”
“We feel that this is the best financial outcome with the economic climate we have at this time,” said Dr. Kathi Gundlach, president of the Palm Beach County CTA. “It is a compromise that addresses the new teachers getting a larger percentage increase in salary, but everyone being able to benefit no matter where they are in their career.”
“It was also important to protect all teachers against a furlough, which would have been an additional pay cut. This was a true negotiation in that both parties were willing to compromise in order to achieve the best outcome possible.”