School Board Approves Contracts
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Raises and retro in November checks
November 12, 2013
At last night’s School Board meeting the Board members voted unanimously to accept the all contract provisions you all overwhelmingly approved on Monday night.
That means your pay raises, including your retro pay, and all proposed contract language changes are now in effect. This also means that the money increase, including retro pay, will be reflected on your November pay check. You will receive your check on November 22nd as we break for our Thanksgiving holiday week! I hope this good news adds to your holiday cheer!
November 11, 2013
All three contracts ratified with nearly unanimous YES votes.
Teacher 99% YES
Paraeducators 99% YES
ESP/Secretaries 98% YES
The contracts are now on the November 12, 2013 School Board meeting agenda. Once the contract changes are adopted the district will process the pay increases. The pay increases will be in your November check!
Salary Ratification for 13-14
October 21, 2013
It is my pleasure to announce that PEA and the Polk County School Board came to tentative agreement on our contract last night. The settlement represents a package that includes contract language, health insurance, and salary increases for all non-instructional support staff. We will send out additional information on the language and the ratification process tomorrow, for now, let me get to the question that is on everyone’s mind—is a raise coming and will it be retroactive? The answer is YES and, if you ratify the contract, it will be on your November pay check.
Read the Tentative Agreements Here
Federal Lawsuit update
October 1, 2013
As you recall, the lawsuit was brought by seven accomplished teachers and FEA and NEA to challenge the evaluation of teachers based on the standardized test scores of students they do not teach, or from subjects they do not teach.
The teachers work in public schools in Alachua, Hernando and Escambia counties. They brought suit against the Florida commissioner of education and the State Board of Education to stop implementation and enforcement of portions of SB 736. The lawsuit also named the school boards of those three counties, who have implemented the evaluation systems to comply with SB 736. The three school boards named were only acting as mandated by the state.
We learned late yesterday that the federal judge assigned to the case found that plaintiffs (FEA, NEA and the seven teachers) do have standing to challenge the evaluation system as alleged violations of substantive due process and equal protection, but asked us to provide more information about the specific harm caused to the plaintiffs by the evaluation system and also to address the impact of the 2013 legislation specifying that teachers may not be evaluated on the basis of students they do not teach. We have until October 21 to amend the complaint. The FEA will continue to work with the NEA to file an updated complaint and continue pursuing these important claims.
As you recall, the lawsuit asserts that school districts did not have sufficient time, funds or expertise to develop new assessments to evaluate student learning and teachers’ value-added scores across all courses and grade levels within the time frame required by SB 736, and that FCAT data was used to evaluate teachers of subjects and students not tested by the FCAT in order to comply with state law.
The lawsuit says the evaluation of teachers based on the standardized test scores of students they do not teach, or from subjects they do not teach, violates the equal protection and due process clauses of the Fourteenth Amendment of the U.S. Constitution. We contend that the evaluation system is arbitrary, irrational and unfair.
The majority of teachers in Florida are being evaluated in the same arbitrary and irrational manner under the mandates of SB 736, passed in 2011. That statute, as administered by the Commissioner of Education and the Florida Department of Education, requires that a significant proportion of the annual evaluation of every teacher and instructional employee in Florida be based on a growth formula, using a value added model (VAM) that was developed only to measure student growth on the FCAT reading and math tests.
PEA Settles health insurance for 2014
September 19, 2013
Salaries still at the table but we believe resolution is close at hand.
Bargaining Update: The following is an announcement of the tentative agreement reached between PEA and the School Board regarding Health Insurance. As always there will need to be a ratification of this agreement. Due to the proximity to open enrollment we wanted to make sure you had this information ASAP.
Your PEA Bargaining Team is pleased to announce that we have reached a tentative agreement with the District regarding our health insurance. The agreement will take effect beginning January 1, 2014 and will allow open enrollment to move forward smoothly. We have enjoyed two years of stability in our health care and are pleased that this stability will continue for another year.
Premiums: Under the guidance of our former interim superintendent and former assistant superintendent for business services, the District had proposed in June to reduce benefits and initiate a premium for employees (up to $50 dollars per month), and, premium increases for children (up to $211 per month from the current $95) and spouses (up to $644 per month from $418). Working with Superintendent Leroy and Associate Superintendent Perrone, the District’s Chief Financial Officer, your PEA bargaining team was able to maintain all benefits at current levels, a $0 premium for employees and a $95 per month premium for children, the same as the previous two years. We did agree to raise the spouse premium $5 per month to $423, much less than the District’s original proposal of $644.
Other Changes: We added a Pilot Weight Management Program which will serve a limited number of the neediest District employees. There will be both a surgical and a non-surgical option. The application process, selection criteria, and other details are yet to be worked out but will be announced on or before January 1, 2014. The School Board has agreed to increase their funding for our plan to maintain it in a healthy status. While there is no loss of benefit for any current employees or employees hired prior to October 1, 2013, future part-time employees hired after that date who work less than 30 hours per week will not receive the health insurance, term life insurance, or accidental death and dismemberment insurance paid by the School Board. Again, this change does not effect current employees.
Challenges: The State defines that we should have 60 days of funding in a reserve and these reserves were allowed to be depleted. By working with AFSCME, the finance folks and Superintendent Leroy we were able to identify one time funding that would partially replenish our days. Superintendent Leroy worked with the Board and the Board agreed to approve this plan. The Board has also agreed to increase their contribution to maintain the plan for the next year. Increasing costs for health care continue to be a concern for both PEA and the District. PEA has agreed to review our health insurance plan over the next few months to ensure that we are receiving a maximum benefit from every dollar that is spent. Our goal continues to focus on maintaining a quality health plan with benefits that support the needs of our employees and is affordable. Remember, it is only PEA and your contract that protect you and your benefits.
Without PEA and your contract, you would be paying more for less!
governor Scott's Education Accountability Summit
August 28, 2013
FEA VP Joanne McCall: “I’ve been all over this state as school begins ... and they’re (teachers and ESPs) frustrated,” she said. “They don’t feel the system has value, and they don’t trust the system.”
Watch Day One review of the Education Summit
Watch Day Two of the Education Summit