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East County Tuesday, Nov. 5, 2019 1 week ago

Manatee County School District, Manatee Education Association reach salary agreements for teachers, paraprofessionals

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Agreements for the 2019-2020 contracts still must be finalized.
by: Liz Ramos Staff Writer

The School District of Manatee County and the Manatee Education Association on Nov. 4 reached a tentative agreement  regarding 2019-2020 contracts for teachers and paraprofessionals. 

“The tentative agreement reached Monday represents another significant step forward for our teachers and paraprofessionals in terms of having highly competitive compensation compared to their peers around the state,” Manatee County Schools Superintendent Cynthia Saunders said. “I want to thank the bargaining teams that made this tentative agreement possible, and I am extremely proud of the hard work being done by our teachers and paraprofessionals in our classrooms each and every school day.”

Some of the highlights of teachers’ tentative agreement include if a teacher receives a rating of "highly effective" on the performance schedule, the teacher can advance four levels on the salary schedule. Teachers who receive rating of "effective"on the performance schedule can advance three levels in the salary schedule. Teachers on the grandfathered schedule will also advance four levels on the salary schedule.

The agreement also includes a cost of living adjustment of $100 for all teachers, and teachers who have completed 16 to 25 years with the district will receive a longevity supplement.

Eligible paraprofessionals will move two steps on the salary schedule, and the paraprofessionals who have reached the top of the salary schedule will receive a percentage increase equal to two steps. 

The agreements will not increase the cost of the health insurance premiums or changes to health benefits. 

“Reaching this agreement was made more difficult due to the challenges presented by the decades of poor funding provided by the (Florida) legislature and the manner in which the funding has been allocated,” said Pat Barber, MEA president, in a news release. “The theme has been doing more with less for a very long time, and this agreement reflects that. We came to an agreement that maximized the dollars available.”

The tentative agreements will be presented to teachers and paraprofessionals and go before the School Board of Manatee County for ratification before taking effect.

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