Broward teachers receive first raise in 4 years
FORT LAUDERDALE, Fla. (WSVN) -- Broward County teachers and the school district have reached a tentative agreement on new contracts.
Though teachers across Broward County will be getting a raise for the first time in four years, those on both sides said students are the real winners. "The dollars associated with that," said Broward Schools superintendent Robert Runcie. "It's about $8.5 million. Ongoing, there's about another $3 million, one time, related to bonuses and incentives."
The Broward School Board and Teacher's Union agreed on something. At the announcement on Tuesday, two rare things happened. First, there was laughter. "So that we're pretty clear on this," said Runcie, "we are providing a salary increase." And shortly after that, applause.
"There's a great deal of more work to do," said John Tarka, administrator of the Broward Teachers Union. "Let me be very clear, this is a significant change in the school district and a significant change in the Broward Teacher's Union in terms of our relationship."
In order to make room for the raises, Runcie cut the fat. "We've made cuts in administrative areas in the organization. We have made modifications in terms of how we manage our health insurance benefits."
By doing this, they've put money back in to the classroom, where it belongs. "We will continue to have our differences we know," said Tarka. "We also know that if we do focus on improving our schools and improving our students, and improving the compensation of benefits for our employees, we will really move the school district forward."
The raise means about a two percent increase for more than 14,000 Broward County teachers. In union speak, it's a step increase and for those teachers who cannot obtain that step increase, they will receive a bonus instead.
All raises will go in to effect Jan. 1, 2013.
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