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Education news and notes from Tampa Bay and Florida

Pinellas union: Academic coaching pay not dead yet

The Pinellas school district said this week that beginning this fall, 100 to 120 teachers at four elite high school magnet programs would no longer earn hefty salary supplements for academic coaching.

The response today from the Pinellas teachers union: Not so fast.

The supplements, in the crosshairs because of budget cuts, are part of the district contract with the teachers union and can't be scrubbed without union input, union president Kim Black told The Gradebook today. "It's not a done deal," Black said. "They have announced plans to do it, but we want the teachers to know that this is certainly an issue that has to be addressed through negotiations."

Black said union and district officials met yesterday to talk about the supplements, which are equal to 14 percent of base salaries for teachers in Lakewood's CAT program, Gibbs' PCCA and the IB programs at St. Petersburg and Palm Harbor University high schools. She said talks with the district will continue. "I want the district to meet with us and assure us that there will not be a contract violation," she said.

Black said she understood the equity arguments being raised by non-magnet teachers and others. But she said it's not healthy when teachers point fingers at other teachers.

"I'm concerned when teachers start pointing arrows at the wrong direction," she said. "As we move forward in our discussions on merit pay, the last thing we need to do is be divisive."

[Last modified: Tuesday, May 25, 2010 11:01am]


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