OUR Union United Will Never Be Divided!

On the heels of union-busting state legislation eliminating payroll dues deductions and requiring 60% membership density for most public sector unions, members of the Hernando Classroom Teachers' Association are rallying together to declare: "I'm sticking with MY union!" 

In the face of wide-spread opposition from Florida's working families, and despite criticism of lawmakers from both parties, SB 256 was sent to the Governor's desk to be signed into law in early May with most provisions taking effect July 1, 2023. The Florida Education Association immediately filed suit in federal court to challenge the law as unconstitutional under both the First Amendment and 14th Amendment, asserting that the law infringes on educators' freedom of speech and equal protection of laws. The complaint seeks injunctive relief as it imposes significant harms on disfavored unions (not all public sector unions are subject to provisions of the law). 

Even as the law is challenged in court, local unions across the state are taking proactive steps to secure their collective bargaining rights ahead of July 1st. In February, HCTA was among the first FEA locals to introduce eDues, an easy, reliable, and secure alternative to payroll dues deductions. Within just a few short weeks, invitations to make the switch had been rolled out to all worksites, and on the eve of summer break well more than half of HCTA's members have made the move.

Initiating a unique login for the membership portal requires that members have a home email address on file with HCTA. Members report that the process to set up eDues takes only minutes from the first click and can be completed on any mobile device. For members who don't use online banking, or for those who prefer not to use their online banking credentials, verification can be completed through a micro deposit using routing and account number. This video offers a brief explainer of the set up process.


We know most change isn't easy, and we know that any change with financial implications can be particularly difficult. Obviously, that is part of the intent of this law. Proponents of SB 256 are expecting that the elimination of payroll deductions will reduce our membership numbers, undermine local union operating budgets, and weaken the voice of educators who are often the only ones to stand against policies that do not serve students in our public schools. That's exactly why HCTA is working to support every member through the eDues set up process.

If you are a member of HCTA and haven't yet made the move to eDues, there's still time! Please check your home email for the invitation titled 'I'm sticking with my union!'  If you need the link resent, or if you need direct assistance to complete the move to eDues, contact Lisa Masserio or Val Smith.

Tentative Agreement Reached

BROOKSVILLE, FL -- September 21, 2022  One of the largest economic settlements ever negotiated for Hernando County educators is on its way to ratification! HCTA and HCSD bargaining representatives signed off on a final agreement for the 2022-23 contract which will push instructional starting salaries to $49,000 and provide salary increases and bonuses for returning staff equating to a 5% or greater overall improvement.

HCTA Announces the Endorsement of Candidates for Hernando School Board

HCTA's Local Elections Endorsement Committee has been working through the screening process to provide recommendations in our three school board races.

The entire process began in March with the Local Elections member survey. HCTA members were asked to provide their opinions on the qualities, qualifications and experience they would look for in a candidate school board. They were also asked to help identify the priority issues impacting students and teachers, and they were invited to submit questions that they would want candidates to answer. From this survey, the committee developed the candidate pre-screening questionnaire and interview questions.

Every candidate listed active on the Hernando Supervisor of Elections website was invited to participate in the endorsement screenings. Six of the nine chose to participate.

On Saturday, May 14th, the committee conducted candidate interviews at the HCTA office. Each member of the committee individually scored the candidates' responses using the member survey results to assess how closely the candidates' responses aligned with the priorities and values of our members. The individual scores from the interview were combined with scores from the pre-screening questionnaire and the composite scores were used to identify the candidates presented to the Representative Council for endorsement by our organization.


On May 17th, the HCTA Representative Council voted unanimously to endorse school board candidates for Districts 1, 3 and 5. HCTA members will receive communications in the days ahead. Members are strongly encouraged to learn about the candidates who have been recommended by the HCTA endorsement committee.

HCTA's 2022 Endorsement Announcement


HCTA Supports Extension of the Half-cent for Hernando Schools

With the half-penny for Hernando Schools due to expire in 2025, the District and School Board members are leading efforts for an early renewal this election cycle.

The county has already approved the construction of 11,000 new homes, and with many more in the planning stages, it simply doesn’t pay to delay the renewal. Rising construction costs, creeping interest rates, and lower impact fees all mean that revenue is not keeping up with the cost of growth. Securing the half-cent renewal early, means the District will have the flexibility to receive bonds at lower interest and can build schools or additions if and when needed.

It is worth noting that the early renewal does not constitute additional taxes nor does it seek to INCREASE funds available to the District. It simply ensures that current local funding for school repairs and construction is not reduced. The extension is a timely and much-needed investment in the continuing growth of our public schools.

On May 17th, the HCTA Representative Council voted to support the District’s efforts to seek early renewal for the half-cent for schools.

HCTA's 2022 Local Candidate Screening Process Is Underway

BROOKSVILLE, FL -- April 15, 2022

While it is certainly true that ALL elections have consequences, perhaps no election is of greater consequence for our neighborhood public schools than the election of members to our local school board. More than just a governing body, the school board is entrusted with our collective vision of vibrant public schools that help EVERY child who walks through the doors achieve thier highest potential. The individuals we choose to serve the community as school board members are uniquely positioned to set policies and direct the work of district leaders in delivering that vision. And this year, Hernando County School Board Districts 1, 3 and 5 are all on the ballot. 

As is customary and appropriate, Hernando Classroom Teachers' Association will be actively engaged in this year's local elections. Invitations have been emailed to all candidates vying for seats on the Hernando County School Board. Candidates are asked to submit a completed endorsement screening questionnaire by April 25th. Interviews will be held on May 14th at the HCTA office. 

School Board candidate screening timelines:

  • 4/15/22 – Invitations and candidate questionnaires forwarded to all candidates
  • 4/25/22 – RSVP & completed questionnaires returned to committee
  • 5/14/22 – Candidate interviews
  • 5/24/22 – Recommendations announced

Candidates for the Hernando County School Board who have not received an email invitation to participate in the HCTA endorsement screenings are encouraged to contact HCTA as soon as possible.

Meet the 2022 Local Elections Endorsement Committee:

The members of HCTA’s Local Elections Endorsement Committee provide a balanced representation of our HCTA membership.

  • All levels and multiple disciplines, including CTE
  • Experience ranging from 6 to 30 years, and a cumulative total of 138 years in teaching
  • Ages ranging from 29 to 65
  • Most with children attending or having graduated from HCSD
  • All residents of Hernando County
  • All actively engaged in community and/or union leadership
  • Balanced representation of party affiliations (R, D, I and NPA)

Through an open and non-partisan process, this committee endeavors to identify candidates for local offices who most align with the values and priorities of our membership. All candidates for the offices being reviewed will be invited to participate in the screening process to be considered for endorsement. To ensure recommendations of the committee best reflect the interests of members, participating candidates will be vetted using tools created from input provided through recent survey of HCTA members.


BROOKSVILLE, March 3, 2022--

As the final week of the 2022 FL Legislative Session begins, educators, parents and students across the state are still waiting for Tallahassee legislators to provide real solutions to the most significant challenge our public schools are facing today: the growing educator shortage!