Make us your home page


Education news and notes from Tampa Bay and Florida

Do you want a bonus? Pasco County teachers, school employees to weigh in



A little more than a week ago, Pasco schools superintendent Heather Fiorentino brought the idea of a one-time bonus — perhaps as much as $500 to $600 per worker — to the United School Employees of Pasco for its consideration.

The USEP now is taking the concept to the schools. And its bargaining team is asking to delay all negotiations relating to finances until it can get some meaningful reaction from members. In all likelihood, money talks would not resume until late September at the earliest.

"There's no sense in rushing," USEP president Lynne Webb told the Gradebook, noting that the district still does not have final cost numbers for its health insurance package. "We don't have all the information."

During the intervening time, the union will make budget presentations at all schools and other work sites, explaining its view of the pros and cons of taking a bonus versus pushing for steps or raises. Then employees will have a week to submit their opinions about which way to go.

It's not a vote, but a way for the bargaining team to gather information before setting a negotiating strategy.

"We just want to make sure everybody has the same information that we have and then weigh in," Webb said, stressing that no decisions on the bonus or raises have been made.

In the meantime, contract talks will continue. They just will be about non-financial matters. And, Webb said, there are plenty of those to visit.


[Last modified: Tuesday, May 25, 2010 10:35am]


Join the discussion: Click to view comments, add yours