Teacher Salary Bargaining At Impasse Again

Posted

UPDATE:  In response to today's (November 17) notice of impasse from the Volusia County School District to Volusia United Educators, President Elizabeth Albert asked, "Are we still on for Monday, November 30?" The response from the school district, "We still have it scheduled." The problem is that once an impasse is declared, by definition, it's assumed that further bargaining would be pointless. 

Albert's response to the confirmation of the November 30 bargaining session, "In the spirit of truth and transparency, the insulated period (the time when both parties are prohibited from speaking with the board) begins  “between the time of rejection of all or any part of the Special Master’s recommended decision and convening of the legislative body hearing” the parties at impasse should avoid “ex parte communications with members of the legislative body regarding the impasse items.” IAFF, Local 2135 v. City of Ocala, 5 FPER ¶ 10252 (PERC 1979), aff’d, 394 So.2d 1156 (Fla. 1st DCA 1981)."

Earlier reporting below.

DeLand, FL - Once again, salary talks between the county's teachers union and the school district are at an impasse.

A press release from the Volusia County Schools (VCS) said the district notified the union, the Volusia United Educators (VUE), about the impasse on Tuesday (November 17th) after making three separate proposals at four different bargaining sessions. According to the district, VUE hasn't responded to their latest proposal, which staggered raise percentages giving teachers with more seniority the highest percentage—as it was supposedly requested by the union.

The district also claims that the counter proposals previously submitted by the union include a recurring cost ranging from $13 million to $2 million dollars per year. This is after the state reportedly allocated $10 million dollars to Volusia County Schools to raise the minimum teacher salary. 80 percent of that allocation was to bring the teacher minimum salary as close to $47,500 as possible, while the remaining 20 percent can be used to make adjustments for all teachers. An agreed upon plan was also supposed to be submitted to the Department of Education by October 1st, but an extension has been filed.

VCS also states that they have made several attempts to schedule future dates at their last bargaining session, but the union "could not commit" to returning to the table before November 30th, indicating that the November and December would be difficult for them to schedule.

This impasse also comes almost a week after school board attorney Ted Doran brought forward an agreement to increase the salary of Dr. Carmen Balgobin by $50,000 annually. VUE President Elizabeth Albert has been vocal in the union's opposition against Dr. Balgobin's salary increase—which the details of have not been released as of that meeting last Thursday (November 12th)—saying that the agreement was a "slap in the face."

The district's last proposal laid out plans to supplement the allocation from the state with $250,000 from the general fund. From there, instructional personnel would receive a minimum salary of $44,335 while personnel whose current salary is $44,335 or less will receive a minimum of a 2 percent increase in salary using the 20 percent allocation. All other instructional personnel, including pre-k teachers, with a salary greater than $44,335 will receive an increase to their current base pay using the 20 percent allocation, as laid out in the table below.

$44,336-$45,205

Goes to $45,205

$45,206-$52,000

1.3%

$52,001-55,000

1.75%

> $55,000

2.0%

News Daytona Beach's Diane Coston contributed the update to this report.

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