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HCTA Backs Local Referendum

August 27, 2020

Hernando Classroom Teachers’ Association Endorses Local Referendum

BROOKSVILLE, FL – In keeping with the professional association’s commitment to advocate for fully funded neighborhood public schools, the representative leadership of HCTA voted to endorse the millage referendum which will appear on the November 3, 2020, ballot. As explained by Superintendent Stratton in a special meeting of worksite leaders, the referendum seeks to increase local operating revenues in order to retain teachers, increase mental health services and enhance school safety measures, provide needed technology for students and staff, and expand access to career and technical programs for students.

Acknowledging that Tallahassee has signaled the need for significant and drastic cuts to the state’s budget in coming years, HCTA supports the referendum as a necessary step in ensuring that the district has the operational funds needed to continue providing high quality educational opportunities for Hernando’s students.

Like so many other counties across the state, it is our hope that an informed majority will embrace this initiative, demonstrating a local commitment to strong public schools. The time to invest in Hernando’s future is now.

Voters are encouraged to read more about the local referendum on the Hernando Schools website. To find out how you can help our efforts to support Hernando Schools, please email vlaborante@aol.com.

HCTA Urges School Board to Prioritize Safety & People

 

As we apprach the return of Hernando students to our schools in the weeks ahead, our message to the decision makers remains unchanged: The safety of our students and staff MUST come first!  Teachers are bracing for a year expected to look like no other. We need the full support of leaders and the larger community to ensure the safe reopening of our schools.

 

2019-20 Contract Settlement Summary

 

SUMMARY OF TENTATIVE AGREEMENT

2019-2020 INSTRUCTIONAL NEGOTIATIONS

 

ECONOMICS - Total Package includes Market Adjustment, Performance Pay, Fringe & Supplement Increases

 

$3,610,268.85    market adjustment (4.25%) increase for teachers

$   548,643.30    fringe (increases to SS, Medicare, FRS, worker’s comp, etc)

Best & Brightest Update

2019-2020 Changes to Best & Brightest

How is the Best and Brightest award different in 2019-2020?   As part of Senate Bill 7070, all of the previous requirements for Best and Brightest were scrapped, and the program now has three components, Recruitment, Retention and Recognition. Only the Recognition portion of the award is subject to collective bargaining.

The Teacher Salary Allocation: What You Should Know

As is true of every year's bargaining efforts, HCTA is dedicated to ensuring all educators in Hernando Schools receive substantive and equitable pay raises. Each year seems to present a different set of challenges--performance pay requirements, Best & Brightest bonuses, etc--and this year is no exception.

 

August 2, 2021 - Bargaining Update

Tentative agreements have been reached regarding the addition of athletic supplements for new girls’ sports and clarification of priority for choice placement of employees’ kids at the school where the bargaining unit member works. The district team also indicated that they are gathering information regarding how parity bonuses might be paid to instructional staff left out of the state’s $1000 relief payments, though no agreement has been signed yet.

Given the current spike in the number of COVID infections in the community, HCTA proposed that the district offer 10 days of emergency sick leave again this year. It was noted that the district would be meeting with the health department later this week and that more information regarding health and safety measures may be available then. For now, it is expected that sanitizing of buses and high-touch areas will continue along with other precautionary routines, but teachers may rest assured that there is NO plan to continue Hybrid classrooms!

The likelihood that protocols and procedures will evolve with changes in the community's COVID conditions is high. We encourage our members to stay vigilant and inform HCTA leadership of any specific concerns as they arise. We will continue to provide bargaining updates through home email and social media. If you are not already receiving these communications, please ask your worksite leader to confirm your contact info and help you connect with our private FB group for members.

In the coming weeks, we will begin addressing the Teacher Salary Increase funds. This year's funds are legislated to AGAIN be distributed primarily to lifting the minimum base salary. 

Next scheduled bargaining session will be a joint meeting with HUSW to discuss the local referendum funds on August 25th.

Finally—it’s President-elect Biden

Patience—counseled by former Vice President Joe Biden all election week as Americans waited for votes to be counted—finally paid off Nov. 7, four days after Election Day, when Biden won in Pennsylvania and gained enough Electoral College votes to acquire a new title: president-elect. AFT President Randi Weingarten says the union’s leaders and members “can’t wait to get started” on the work ahead “with an administration that will embrace and fight for the values we hold dear.”

Your vote is your voice

AFT President Randi Weingarten’s latest column outlines the urgency of using our voices—our votes—in this life-changing election, when we will make a choice “between President Donald Trump, who has trafficked in chaos, fear, lies and division, and former Vice President Joe Biden, who seeks to reverse Trump’s failures on COVID-19 and the economy, and to unite and uplift the American people.” Besides the four crises we face—a pandemic, an economic crisis, racism and a climate emergency—democracy itself is on the ballot, as Trump continues to cast doubt on the legitimacy of the election.

Sept 30th: Day of Solidarity

‘Back to school’ like never before

In her September New York Times column, AFT President Randi Weingarten says that going back to school has never looked like it does now. Weingarten explains that because of President Donald Trump’s response to the coronavirus, which has been chaotic, contradictory and inept, and the lack of federal guidance and funding, we’re seeing a patchwork of school reopening plans across the country.