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HCTA Bargaining Update – 10/12/2020

On Monday, October 12th, the board and union teams met to continue discussions over the teacher salary allocation. HCTA offered a counter proposal to the district’s initial offer, in the hopes of reducing compression. 

While the district’s proposal would push the vast majority of TSA funds to the very bottom of the pay schedule, HCTA‘s proposal seeks to create tiers within the bottom half of the pay schedule ensuring that TSA dollars are spread more equitably, establishing $45,500 as the new minimum salary,  and achieving the aspirational goal of $47,500 for many. HCTA’s proposal also seeks to improve non-classroom teachers to the same levels as classroom teachers. Finally, HCTA’s proposal requests that in addition to the TSA dollars, the school board provide a little less than a half million dollars to ensure all instructional staff receive at minimum a 2% increase this year 

The district team expressed concern that the HCTA proposal may be rejected by the DOE or could be flagged during audit for applying a tiered/banded approach to the distribution of funds. Nevertheless, the district team agreed to take the proposal back for consideration with the understanding that HCTA clearly does not want non-classroom and classroom teachers on different pay schedules and is pushing to ensure salary improvements are not entirely negated by health insurance premium increases. It is anticipated that insurance increases will be again be necessary.

In addition, HCTA proposed an agreement which would reserve a proportionate amount of referendum dollars for instructional salaries and positions. Should the referendum pass, the actual distribution of salary dollars would be negotiated. Funds raised through a local referendum could provide flexible dollars needed to create more equitable salary improvements in future years. To learn more about the local referendum, please visit the Hernando Schools webpage.

No agreements were reached on Monday, but the teams anticipate returning to the bargaining table within days. 

It is worth noting that the challenges associated with achieving equitable salary improvements can be attributed to the statutory requirements which limit flexibility of funds. You can learn more about the TSA on the HCTA website:  http://www.myhcta.org/resources/teacher-salary-allocation-what-you-should-know

 

 

HCTA Bargaining Update – 9/28/2020

Late last week, HCTA and District bargaining teams met to discuss the Teacher Salary Increase Allocation. This pool of funds provided as a categorical in the state budget has prescribed application outlined in FL statute. To better understand the challenges we face in bargaining salary improvements, you are encouraged to visit the HTCA website to familiarize yourself with the Teacher Salary Increase Allocation (TSA).

As of Friday evening, both teams had shared initial proposals. A walk-through of the District’s proposal presented on Friday is provided here for your review:

HCSD Opening Proposal

Impact

HCTA Questions & Concerns

Takes 80% of the TSA dollars and raises the minimum base salary for full time classroom teachers to $46,120

  • 676 full-time classroom teachers will be improved to the new minimum
  • COMPRESSION: Creates compression in the salary range, placing first-year teachers and mid-career teachers at the same pay level
  • Is $46,120 a sustainable entry-level salary?
  • When creating the placement schedule for new hires, will incoming teachers with years of experience be awarded credit that will put them at a higher pay level than our experienced current employees?

Distributes 20% of the TSA dollars to provide a $668 minimum adjustment for all instructional staff

  • Applies to full time classroom teachers who received less than $600 from the 80% adjustment, full time classroom teachers making more than $47,500, and non-classroom teachers
  • INEQUITY: Adjusting everyone below the new minimum to $46,120 means some will receive an increase of $4,663, while others receive only the $668 minimum
  • Is the minimum adjustment enough to offset the rising cost of health insurance premiums?

Does not provide additional Board contribution

  • Board policy requires that a 5% General Fund reserve be maintained
  • General Fund Balance reserve is reported at about 4.5% at this time
  • Because the TSA does not mandate minimum salary improvements to non-classroom teachers, absence of additional dollars may result in separate salary schedules with non-classroom positions starting below classroom positions
  • The TSA funds are both limited and restricted in use; without additional dollars to bargain instructional salary adjustments for those on the top half of the salary range will be nominal

 

Since the Teacher Salary Increase Allocation is tied to full time classroom teachers as defined in statute, non-classroom teachers do not qualify for 80% of the TSA funds. For the purpose of categorizing full-time classroom teachers, the District identified instructional staff who carry a roster of students and provide instruction for more than half of the workday.

Though HCTA’s team had previously shared what was believed to be a reasonable proposal which would have distributed the larger portion of TSA funds in a banded approach and produced a more equitable distribution of dollars across the salary roster, the District expressed concern that a banded approach could be rejected during audit and may result in TSA dollars being reclaimed by the state some time down the road.

HCTA does not believe that the law prohibits bargaining of a banded approach. Distributing 80% of the TSA funds in bands could not only raise the minimum base salary to a competitive level ($45,000), it could ensure that a significant number of teachers actually reach the statutory goal of $47,500 this year.

 

HCTA Hosts Virtual PEP Talk

Your VOTE is Your VOICE

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.

 

Celebrating student loan relief

“It was like waking up and learning you won the lottery.” That’s just one of the comments flooding the AFT offices from members who are elated to be free of student debt at last. After relentless advocacy, including an AFT lawsuit against former Education Secretary Betsy DeVos, the Public Service Loan Forgiveness program that was so broken is finally doing what it is supposed to do: delivering relief from student debt for thousands of borrowers. So far, $6.2 billion in student debt has been forgiven for 100,000 public service workers like teachers, nurses and professors.

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.