Teachers union not happy with salary offer from Hills. school district

Teachers union not happy with Hillsborough County's response to higher pay request

TAMPA, FL -- Hillsborough County school teachers are saying show me the money and the school district has an offer, but it wasn't enough – for now.

During negotiations with the Hillsborough Classroom Teachers Association, the Hillsborough County School District offered a sum of $1.8 million for teacher salaries.

That’s a raise of only $92, according to the math done by HCTA executive director Stephanie Baxter-Jenkins.

That might be a large amount coming from the district, but Baxter-Jenkins said it was a weak offer.

“I don’t think our bargaining union is gonna be happy with $92 per person. In fact, I’m fairly certain they will not and it will be looked at as another sign of disrespect to the people actually doing the work in this district,” Baxter-Jenkins said.  

“So, I’m not declining to bargain what we do with that money, but I’d like to see us be doing a couple different things to potentially look to find the money to do other stuff.”

This is a complicated issue that goes back to 2013. Back then, the two sides agreed to give qualified teachers $4,000 raises after three years. However, budget woes have led district leaders to reverse course on bargaining agreements that include the increase.

They blame the sources of funding, such as the state legislature, which had decreased their budget.

The district was within their bounds to break the contract. It stated they could make changes if the finances weren't there for whatever reason. Now, it's saying they want the union to conclude this issue with their offer. 

However, teachers might tell you, despite budget cuts, this issue stems from mismanagement of the budget.

Either way, there was no agreement Monday and this contentious issue continues further as they plan to meet in the future. Those who get hurt the most perhaps - the students.  

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