Hillsborough: Teachers contract update
Rumors have come to the Gradebook’s attention that teachers aren’t welcome to attend the negotiations between the Hillsborough school district and their teachers union.
Nothing could be farther than the truth. The bargaining sessions are open to the public. Teachers on a lively blog called TheWall, who have heard differently, need not worry.
“It’s in the sunshine,” says Yvonne Lyons, executive director of the Hillsborough Classroom Teachers Association. “We put out chairs, and everybody’s welcome.”
She says the district and the union are settling a number of issues, but have not started to talk salary. They also are not close to resolving several big items, including how many periods high school instructors can teach, and whether to eliminate two instructional days from the school calendar.
“We are worlds apart on those two,” Lyons says.
She adds that the district has run some interesting numbers on high school schedules. Hillsborough would have to hire large numbers of teachers if they return a schedule where instructors teach five out of seven periods. Just at Plant City High School, 25 new hires would be needed. A schedule where instructors teach five out six of periods also raises concerns, says Lyons, explaining that the district would need to hire 300 teachers, but lay off another 150 in elective subjects. This would be due to restrictions under class size and FCAT requirements.
Here’s the schedule for the remaining negotiation sessions:
Thursday, June 28: 1:30 p.m to 4:45 p.m.
Friday, June 29: 2 p.m. to 4:45 p.m.
Tuesday, July 10: 9:30 a.m. to 3 p.m.
Wednesday, July 11: 9:30 a.m. to 3 p.m.
July 16 to 20: The entire week has been set aside for negotiations, although no times have been set yet. The bargaining teams will meet as many times as they need to this week.
All meetings are held at the HCTA headquarters, 4505 N. Rome Ave., Tampa. Stay tuned for more updates.