No sense in going through impasse hearing, Pasco employee leader says
Reaching a contract settlement for the year that's nearly over "was literally a 10-month, dig your feet in struggle just to stay where we were," United School Employees of Pasco president Lynne Webb told the Gradebook.
No raises for yet another year is hardly something to cheer, she said.
But seeing the battle over wages and benefits through to a hearing with a special magistrate had few benefits, either, Webb continued. First, it would have prolonged the time that teachers and other workers go without a contract, meaning that new rules governing employment terms coming from the Legislature (such as ending seniority in determining layoffs) could have been more easily imposed.
Second, the other districts that have gone to impasse have gotten results in favor of the districts when it comes to economic matters, anyway, she noted, citing Manatee County's newly released impasse recommendations as an example. (See attachment below) On the key issue of teachers' demands for a 1 percent raise in Manatee, the special magistrate stated:
"While it is the opinion of the Special Magistrate that teachers throughout the State of Florida are under-paid, the issue becomes whether or not the School Districts they work for have the tax revenues needed to pay them more. In this recessionary economy the dollars are not there."
As Pasco's employee relations director Kevin Shibley told the Gradebook, "I'm not really sure what individuals who believe we should go to impasse ... believe we would be rewarded with."
Any thoughts on the concept?