Keys School Board, union reach deal

The Monroe County School Board this week reached a tentative deal with the teachers union on compensation, benefits and evaluation for the 2017-18 school year, after nine bargaining sessions.

For teachers, compensation adjustments are the same as those received for 2016-17, with a slight increase in health insurance premium contributions effective Oct. 1. School-related personnel will receive a 60-cents-an-hour raise in their pay.

Holly Hummell-Gorman, president of the United Teachers of Monroe, said she’s excited the agreement was reached before school starts Aug. 16.

“Now we can get on with the business of educating our students,” Hummell-Gorman said.

“This was by far the most efficient and productive process we have had to date,” said Superintendent Mark Porter. “The continued improvement in our working relationship with UTM has resulted in a timely and fair settlement for all of our represented employees.’

School Board Chairman John Dick said that “as the 2017-2018 school year begins, I am glad that our outstanding teachers and SRP’s are receiving the compensation increases they truly deserve.”

The tentative agreement now goes to UTM’s membership for a ratification vote to take place in the next couple of weeks, a School Board spokeswoman said.

Next, the deal goes to the School Board for a final vote set for Sept. 7. Implementation of the agreed-upon terms and conditions, retroactive to this past July 1, will immediately follow.

Gwen Filosa: @KeyWestGwen