The School District of Palm Beach County and Classroom Teachers Association (CTA) met this afternoon for a bargaining session regarding teacher salaries. District officials presented the School Board’s salary proposal for the 2012-13 school year. The Board’s proposal would provide the following:
- Teachers would receive an increase to their base salary for the 2012-13 school year ranging from three percent (3%) to two percent (2%).
- Under the Board’s proposal, teachers currently earning a base salary of less than $40,000 would receive a 3% salary increase.This group represents 5,675 teachers or 45% of the employee group;
- Teachers currently earning a base salary between $40,000 and $44,054 would receive a 2.5% salary increase. This group represents 1,718 teachers or 14% of the employee group;
- Teachers currently earning a base salary between $45,370 and $66,700 would receive a 2.0% salary increase. This group represents 4,290 teachers or 34% of the employee group;
- Teachers currently earning the longevity salary of $71,745 would receive a one-time salary bonus of $1,200.
- Under the Board’s proposal, teachers will receive an average increase of $1,096 for the 2012-13 school year.
- The Board’s proposal reflects a min/max salary schedule that will comply with State requirements scheduled to take effect July 1, 2014. Under a min/max salary schedule, the Board and CTA may negotiate future across the board salary increases, cost of living adjustments, and pay for performance.
- The District has provided teachers with salary increases for three of the past four years without awarding steps. For the 2008-09 school year, teachers received a 2% across the board salary increase. No other employee group received an increase that year. No raise was awarded to employees for the 2009-10 school year. For the 2010-11 school year, all employees including teachers received a one-time $500 salary bonus. For the 2011-12, teachers received a recurring across the board salary increase of $500. No other employees received an increase last year.
- The total package represents a $15.8 million increase and impacts all 12,578 employees within the teachers bargaining unit.
- The School Board’s $15.8 million offer to teachers represents 73% of the funds available for employee salary considerations. The teacher employee group currently represents 61% of the District’s workforce and 71% of the base payroll.
- The proposed salary increase will be retroactive to the start of the 2012-13 school year if accepted.
- Given the situation with the Florida Retirement System (FRS) lawsuit and related budget uncertainty for next year, the School Board’s salary proposal is guaranteed for the 2012-13 school year (FY2013) and includes a provision to provide some flexibility for FY2014. Should employees recover their three percent (3%) FRS contribution and Florida school districts suffer a funding shortfall as a result of the lawsuit, it may be necessary to roll back any recurring salary increases beginning with FY2014. The School Board and Superintendent hope exercising such a provision will not be necessary, but retaining this flexibility is very important given the magnitude of the potential financial impact associated with this lawsuit. Rather than holding all available funds in reserve until the outcome and implications of the FRS lawsuit are known, the School Board and Superintendent feel it is important to move forward with negotiating employee salary proposals for this year.
- Throughout the funding reductions of the past five years our School Board has focused on avoiding layoffs, maintaining employee health insurance coverage and complying with stringent State class size requirements.
- Health insurance is an important component of employee compensation, and the District contribution now represents eighteen percent (18%) of employee salaries on average. The health insurance program for employees and retirees is expected to exceed $190 million for the upcoming 2013 calendar year. Over the past four years, the School Board’s contribution to health insurance premiums has increased $1,700 per employee on average. Efforts to reach an agreement with all employee groups through coalition bargaining are ongoing. Although the existing employee contract language caps the District’s contribution at the current funding level, the School Board has proposed covering two-thirds of the rising cost rather than pass the entire increase on to employees for next year.