For the past three years, we've asked the district to make a plan to prioritize pay. At yesterday's budget workshop, it was apparent that once again the school board has no plan to increase our pay at levels comparable to surrounding counties. After a year of praising the Florida legislature, several board members ironically tried to blame Tallahassee for the lack of funding. Yesterday...two weeks before negotiations were scheduled to start...the board just began a discussion of how to fund teachers' raises. As our chief negotiator, I will not allow our team and teachers to suffer through another year of negotiations that drag on endlessly because of this school board’s refusal to provide competitive compensation. Teachers come to the classroom every day prepared with a lesson plan meant to engage all students. The board should be coming to the table with a plan to engage all teachers with a competitive salary and benefits offer. On June 25th, we will use the time we dedicated to bargaining to instead call members and inform them of candidates that are ready to prioritize teacher pay if they're elected.
I am ready to begin negotiations as soon as the school board gives an indication that they are prepared to negotiate with a full proposal. Hopefully that will be by July 9th, our next scheduled session.
-Anthony Colucci, President