After 16 bargaining sessions this year, the Monroe County School Board and the teachers’ union have reached a tentative agreement for the 2016-18 contracts for teachers and other school-related employees, officials said Monday.
Each employee covered by the contract will receive a raise, which is scheduled to begin in the Nov. 15 paychecks if the deal wins the School Board’s approval this month.
“We were able to agree upon well-deserved salary increases as well as improved language in both contracts for our hard-working teachers and school related personnel,” said Holly Hummell-Gorman, president of the United Teachers of Monroe, which has about 550 members, including teachers, bus drivers and food service and maintenance workers.
The final session between the board and United Teachers of Monroe on Friday produced terms and conditions both sides could agree upon for the next two consecutive school years, starting with 2016-2017.
The tentative agreement will now go to UTM members for a ratification vote scheduled in two weeks. Once ratified, the deal must win final approval from the School Board, which plans to review it Oct. 25.
But on Monday, Hummell-Gorman said she wanted to release the raise figures first to UTM’s members so they wouldn’t learn from the press.
“It’s a little complicated, it’s not cut and dried anymore,” Hummell-Gorman said. “It depends on what kind of a contract you’re under.”
Superintendent Mark Porter, who led the School Board’s negotiation team, said the new contract includes an “innovative performance-based salary schedule.”
“It does contain differentiated pay based on teacher evaluation,” Porter said. “The evaluations are somewhat more complex. The administrative portion is just one-third of the evaluation.”
Both Porter and Hummell-Gorman said the bargaining process has improved since 2012, when Porter was hired after a budget season that included furlough days for teachers under interim Superintendent Jesus Jara.
“We’re listening to our members,” Hummell-Gorman said. “We had a listening session in each of the areas of the Keys. We’re vetting what we’re doing before we even go to the table.”
Gwen Filosa: @KeyWestGwen