BOCA RATON, FL (BocaNewsNow.com) — Now set to make more than some lawyers, nurses and other professionals, teachers in Palm Beach County who have served the longest will now make more than $73,000 a year under the terms of a new contract.
And while lawyers, nurses and other professionals work all year long, teachers will continue to enjoy student holidays and summers off.
According to the School District:
The School District of Palm Beach County and the Palm Beach County Classroom Teachers Association (CTA) have reached Tentative Agreement on contract negotiations that includes a salary increase for all 12,578 teachers. The new and improved salary schedule provides an average increase of 3.41% for all teachers retroactive to July 1, 2012. The two sides concluded bargaining late Monday evening (11/26/12). That meeting marked the eleventh bargaining session between the parties since negotiations began last May.
The tentative salary agreement for Palm Beach County School District teachers is believed to be one of the highest, if not the highest, in the State of Florida for the 2012-13 school year.
“We are very pleased that we have been able to reach this important agreement,” said Superintendent Wayne Gent. “The School Board values our teachers, and this tentative agreement demonstrates our commitment to provide the best salary proposal financially possible at this time. We look forward to an ongoing collaborative relationship with our teachers that will ultimately benefit the students,” he said.
Some highlights of the agreement include:
· Teachers will receive a salary increase on an improved salary schedule retroactive to the start of the 2012-2013 school year.
· Under the agreement, all teachers will receive an equitable increase averaging 3.41% for the entire employee group.
· By improving the salary schedule, teachers eligible for a step will receive an increase ranging from $1,500 to $4,300. The average increase will be $1,786.
· The cost to the District will be approximately $22.5 million
· The beginning salary for teachers with no prior experience was increased from $37,322 to $38,000. So, even newly-hired teachers will realize an increase of $678.
· Teachers currently earning the longevity salary of $71,745, will see their base salary increase by $1,500 to $73,245 for the 2012-13 school year. The longevity salary will revert back to $72,500 on July 1, 2013 unless the parties agree otherwise in future negotiations that are already scheduled to reopen in April of 2013.
· Teachers with children in District-operated after school child care programs will be eligible for a 25% discount.
The tentative agreement must now be ratified by teachers through a vote and then approved by the School Board.