Teachers, district support staff give contracts support
After a two-day voting process, teachers and support personnel ratified both versions of their tentative contracts late Wednesday night.
Union leaders reported that a 2010 contract for members of the Teacher’s Association of Lee County passed by 73 percent and a three-year contract for members of the Support Personnel Association of Lee County passed by 78 percent.
These are contracts every district employee enters into that outline salary, work schedules and other employee procedures.
“Considering the times we are in right now, we feel what happened is what needed to happen and hopefully when things get better we can readdress it,” said Mark Castellano, TALC president.
Some secondary teachers took issue with a provision in the new contract stating that planning periods would no longer be offered every day.
Districtwide scheduling will move to eight periods spread over two days and teachers will instruct seven of those periods, therefore planning will not be offered everyday, said Castellano.
A provision relating to teacher performance pay was also eliminated from the new contract. The program is for outstanding teachers who receive bonuses worth 5 percent of their annual salary.
Teachers also ratified a new salary schedule that is identical to the amounts from 2008-09.
The contract for support personnel lasts from 2010-12. The contract states that support personnel will receive bonuses if enough money is left over from the district’s budget shortfall.
District officials will budget money into a “shortfall fund,” and anything left after the fourth calculation will be given as a bonus to support personnel.
If the fund contains more than $27 million, support personnel will receive a 2 percent bonus. If it is between $10 million and $26 million, they will receive 1 percent. If less than $10 million, they will receive nothing.
Bob Rushlow, president of SPALC, said that each year support employees can have further discussions about benefits or compensation because it is a three-year contract.