School Board and OCEA reach tentative approval on salaries, benefits for teachers

The Osceola Classroom Education Association (OCEA) has tentatively approved the Osceola County School Board’s offer for salaries and benefits for instructional employees for the 2019-20 school year, which include the following highlights:

• Salary increase per instructional employee for the 2019-20 school year based upon the requirements of state law and the performance pay salary schedule as bargained:

- $1,200, or 24 salary schedule levels, for instructional employees whose final summative evaluation rating is “Highly Effective.”

- $1,150, or 23 salary schedule levels, for instructional employees who are grandfathered (Professional Service Contract or Continuing Contract status) and whose final summative evaluation rating is either “Highly Effective” or “Effective.”

- $900, or 18 salary schedule levels, for instructional employees whose final summative evaluation rating is “Effective.”

At the conclusion of the 2019 Florida Legislative Session, if the final Florida Education Finance Program (FEFP) Conference Report results in the School District of Osceola County receiving unrestricted, non-categorical funds greater than those proposed in the governor’s state budget, then both parties agree to re-open salary negotiations for the 2019-20 school year.

Increase in the starting salary of $41,400 (from $41,000) for instructional employees newly hired for the 2019-20 school year.

•Design changes to the School District’s major medical Health Insurance Plan that ensure the Health Benefits Trust Fund remains fiscally solvent and that it continues to provide employees with health insurance coverage options, including a no-cost option for the individual employee.

•Flexible Spending Account Match where the School Board shall match the employee’s FSA savings of $750 or more with a contribution of $250 in order to assist the employee toward the employee’s deductible.

•Increase in the base per employee board contribution for health insurance benefits from $6,398 to $6,826 for the 2019-20 Health Insurance Benefits Plan year; and

•Continued commitment to the Osceola County School District’s Center for Employee Health.

 OCEA ratification of the teacher contract will happen in May, and the agreement will then be brought to the School Board for approval. 

 "Before entering salary negotiations this year, my fellow School Board members and I charged the superintendent to find millions of dollars in operational savings that could be directed to increased compensation for our hard-working teachers and employees in the coming year without negatively impacting student learning,” said School Board Chairman Clarence Thacker. “Even when difficult budgeting decisions were being considered, we have remained resolute in our determination to direct more dollars toward salaries in order to recognize and reward our employees’ dedication and commitment to serving our students with excellence. I am pleased that we have been able to reach agreement with OCEA before this school year ends so that the additional dollars can be in our teachers’ pockets at the start of the next school year."