Bonuses may be on the table for Pasco teachers
Pasco superintendent Heather Fiorentino and her top staff headed to union country Tuesday evening in an attempt to offer the latest budget information and answer questions from teachers who face a second year without a raise.
While the news remained mostly bleak, with much attention paid to the lack of recurring money, Fiorentino did approach the subject of getting a little extra money into teachers' pockets.
The administration and board has set aside about $9.1 million in state funding, just in case the state asks for it back. Fiorentino told the Gradebook that it now appears unlikely that the Legislature will be taking the money, making it available to spend.
"Maybe we could do a one-time deal," Fiorentino said, noting that the money might not return to the budget next year so she does not want to offer it as a raise. "There is not a soul that works for the district that doesn't deserve something."
First, the district wants to make sure it can afford the increased cost of health insurance for all workers, something it has set as a top priority. Then, Fiorentino said, she hopes to bring forth a proposal to give everyone a bonus of $500 to $600 each.
The United School Employees of Pasco sent out an advisory this afternoon saying it would poll members on their views about a bonus before continuing financial negotiations. "The teams also felt it was important for teachers and SRP to continue to contact the Superintendent and School Board and encourage them to do what’s right by employees and commit to meaningful wage increases, not just one-time-bonuses," the alert stated.
To see Fiorentino's financial proposal, click here.