Skip to main content

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 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.

10/23/23 Bargaining Update

In an abbreviated bargaining session, the parties reached agreement on increasing the Board match for health insurance for the 2024 calendar year. The District will provide an additional $53.06 each month, bringing the total monthly contribution to $735.10 for employee insurance. This improvement covers increases to the "Employee Only" premiums for all plans and will ensure that more of this year's negotiated salary improvements remain in our members' pockets!

The agreement will be brought to the unit for ratification in November.

8/31/23 Bargaining Update


With six (6) proposals exchanged over the course of a three and a half hour bargaining session, the HCTA and HCSD instructional salary negotiations culminated in a tentative agreement and a plan to move 2023-24 pay raises swiftly to ratification.

This year's agreement provides a $2,600 market adjustment for returning instructional staff who worked half a year plus one day in the 2022-23 school year. Pay for performance will add $100 for Highly Effective instructional staff and $50 for Effective instructional staff. New hires and those who worked less than half a year in the 2022-23 school year will receive a $500 bump and up to $500 more based on experience. The new starting teacher pay for Hernando Schools will be $49,500.

Instructional staff have already seen a portion of their compensation improved for the 2023-24 school year with the recalculation of referendum supplements paid through the additional millage approved by voters in 2020. Previously negotiated to assist with retention, this supplement is calculated annually based on experience in Hernando Schools. 

Beyond salary improvements, HCTA and HCSD have found agreement on additional duty supplements, funding positions to support early career educators, and compensation for splitting of classes. In total, the economic adjustments represents an investment of more than $5.859 million into the instructional bargaining unit.

Ratification voting will be held at worksites across the district on September 18th, with the School Board expected to ratify on September 19th. Details of time and location for voting will be announced by HCTA Worksite Leaders. All employees of the instructional unit are eligible to vote during contract ratification.

Photo of AFT President Randi Weingarten addressing TEACH 2023

The AFT has always been a solutions-driven union, and our new campaign, launched during TEACH on July 21, proves it once again with a fresh, practical approach to strengthening public education. As AFT President Randi Weingarten pointed out during her keynote speech, the $5 million, yearlong campaign, “Real Solutions for Kids and Communities,” stands up against attacks on public schools and offers real-world solutions to build up, rather than break down, our communities.


What unions do


In AFT President Randi Weingarten’s latest New York Times  column, she describes what it is exactly that unions do. Though unions are the most popular they have been in decades, anti-union sentiment still thrives in red states and across the nation. “Several years ago, The Atlantic ran a story whose headline made even me, a labor leader, scratch my head: ‘Union Membership: Very Sexy,’” Weingarten writes in the column. “The gist was that higher wages, health benefits and job security—all associated with union membership—boost one’s chances of getting married. Belonging to a union doesn’t actually guarantee happily ever after, but it does help working people have a better life in the here and now.” Click through to read the full column.

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, FL -- April 12, 2021    In a letter issued by the US Department of Education in February, states were advised that they would have flexibility in determining how to apply the results of this year's standardized tests. Since then, districts have been awaiting clarification from Tallahassee regarding what--if any--accountability components might be waived. That clarification arrived late last week when the Commissioner of Education for the state of Florida issued an Emergency Order waiving accountability standards tied to standardized tests.  Read the order here:

FLDOE Emergency