More on the contract for Pinellas teachers
We reported yesterday that the Pinellas County School District and the teachers union reached a tentative agreement on the 2011-12 contract after months of intense negotiations. Teachers are getting a step increase, which will range from $300 to $5,000 each, and are giving up early release Wednesday in the 2013/14 school year.
Union leaders said Thursday that more information would be going out to members soon. But here are a few points that we didn't have space to include in the story.
*Teachers also are going to get two "trade days," which can be used essentially as a day off when students aren't in class and teachers would otherwise have training.
*To approve a waiver of contract at a school, there needs to be 66 percent approval by the staff, rather than 75 percent.
*A task force will be created to review instructional planning time, professional development and a possible return to a six-period day in high schools. The group will start meeting in October with plans to put out recommendations in March.
*Terminal pay - or accumulated sick pay that teachers get when they retire - will remain the same.
Marshall Ogletree, executive director of the Pinellas Classroom Teachers Association, said the union wanted to make sure there was a discussion about flexible scheduling, planning time and closing the achievement gap - particularly if early release Wednesday was going to end.
"We felt that we had to address the dynamics of why early release existed," he said.
Ending early release Wednesday has been a big topic lately and one that has been pushed aggressively by the Pinellas Education Foundation. (See previous blogs and stories here, here and here.) But Ogletree said the union didn't cave on the issue because of pressure.
"We don't want anyone to believe that we gave up early release because of anything external," he said.
See an outline of the agreement from the union attached below.