Hillsborough district, union agree on retirees
TAMPA -- Hillsborough County teachers and the school district have reached an agreement to bring back 130 senior teachers whom the district had been trying to terminate for budget reasons, officials said Tuesday.
"What we've negotiated is that they will keep their job, and the termination will be undone so it won't be on their record," said Jean Clements, president of the Hillsborough Classroom Teachers' Association union. "They'll be able to continue working at step five (on the salary scale)."
The teachers in question had all left retirement to resume teaching, and the district will save about $3.5 million by reducing their salary level to the fifth-year rate, said deputy superintendent Dan Valdez. That savings won't be appreciably affected by moving from the first-year rate of $37,014, which the district had initially sought, to the fifth-year rate of $39,800, he said.
"This is good news for some wonderful, wonderful employees," Valdez added. "And these people want to keep on working."
The district will also permanently rehire such employees at step five if they have worked the entire school year as so-called temporary employees and have had no performance problems, he said.
The agreement affects not only retired teachers who had been working under an annual contract, but about 200 teachers just leaving the state's deferred retirement program, Clements said. Those teachers must quit working for at least a month and then work for three years at the starting wage before moving to the fifth step, she said.
"They had complete authority to never hire them again," she added. "What those people were facing was no employment or this compromise."
The agreement must still be ratified by the union membership as part of the annual contract negotiating process, officials said.
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Tom Marshall, Times Staff Writer