Contract negotiations continue slowly for Pasco teachers
Representatives for the Pasco County School Board and the United School Employees of Pasco reached a deal this week that will allow the district to seek a $1.5 million improvement grant for Ridgewood High School. That agreement includes paying teachers for an extra hour weekly for planning, plus four parent evenings during the school year.
But the sides have yet to conclude talks on some other key issues, though, most notably relating to teacher pay and benefits.
One of the holdups remains the lack of a solid number for the district's exposure in its self-insured health program. That figure looms large over exactly how much the board ultimately can offer teachers.
"Once that gets done, hopefully all the other dominoes will fall into place," USEP lead negotiator Jim Ciadella said.
They have not begun talking about an early retirement proposal that the board hopes will save $4 million a year. The USEP has raised concerns about a part of that plan that would limit pay for all new employees. The negotiations have not reached fruition, either, on salaries for teachers in the district's virtual school, although both groups have agreed in principle that performance pay will be part of the package.
Negotiations for non-instructional staff were postponed Wednesday after the meeting room lost power. More talks are scheduled for next week.