Pasco school district, employee union offer salary counterproposals
As anticipated, Pasco County's employee union and School Board offered differing visions of what they'd like to see in a pay package when they sat at the bargaining table Wednesday.
During negotiations for school-related personnel, the United School Employees of Pasco presented a 4 percent raise request, urging the district to dip into its unrestricted reserves to bolster salaries.
"USEP believes that it is much more prudent and beneficial to invest in the District's employees than it is to have that money sitting in the bank, not drawing any interest," the group said in a news release.
As last year, the district did not follow the tradition of waiting for the union's proposal and then making a counter. Its representatives came with offer in hand.
Based on the School Board's tentative budget, the district proposed adding 2.65 percent, on average, to workers' base salary.
The difference between the two -- $918,220.
That amount will likely rise as the two sides return to the table Thursday evening to discuss teacher pay and benefits. Each has indicated that its proposal will mirror the ones presented for SRP's.
Given the separation, USEP officials already have told the district they don't intend to meet again over financial issues until mid-September. That's when the district's annual financial report is due. It should provide a "much more accurate picture" of what money is available for salaries, the union said in its release.
To see all the documents put on the table during negotiations, visit the district's website.