Alachua County Public Schools and the Alachua County Education Association agreed to the largest salary package offered in the district’s history Wednesday.
The ACEA presented its proposal on Feb. 17, requesting $3.8 million from the district to add to teachers’ salaries. After ACPS’ team consulted the school board, it came back to the bargaining table with a counteroffer. The district and ACPS signed an agreement Wednesday.
The salary package amounts to $10.5 million, the largest offer that has ever been on the table for employees in Alachua County, ACEA President Carmen Ward said.
“Employees are the lifeblood of this public school system,” Ward said.
These funds will award a one-time bonus of $1250 to each employee who worked throughout the first semester of the school year. Employees can receive an additional $1000 bonus upon completing a mental health and cyber security training.
The signed package has been added to the agenda for Tuesday’s school board meeting. If the board approves it, employees could see these bonuses in their March 15 paychecks.
ACEA’s proposal last week requested an additional 55 cents per hour for teachers’ pay, but the bargaining teams agreed upon an increase of 24 cents per hour.
Ward and ACEA’s service unit director Crystal Tessmann asked the ACPS bargaining team to also provide educational support professionals with the same hourly increase as teachers rather than the 20 cents per hour that the district offered. The district’s team agreed.
The package also grants employees a step increase. Highly effective and effective teachers — who rank well against the state’s teaching standards — will receive additional pay increases.
“We have a historically large amount of money for our employees,” Ward said. “I know that money doesn’t solve all of our problems, but it definitely helps.”
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Emma is a second-year journalism major with a minor in Spanish. She is the education reporter this semester. She's from Palm Harbor, Florida, but her second home is the gym. When she’s not writing she’s either deadlifting, squatting or benching.