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Education news and notes from Tampa Bay and Florida

Pinellas teachers may be one step closer to a contract after tonight



Representatives from Pinellas County's teachers union will meet tonight to give a recommendation on the latest proposed contract with the School Board before teachers vote at their schools on Thursday.

The Pinellas Classroom Teachers Association faculty representative council will meet at PCTA headquarters in Largo at 5 p.m. Council chairwoman Christine York-Amstutz said the group will most likely recommend a "yes" vote to members, given that the deal hammered out earlier this month by representatives restores language the teachers wanted, keeps previously negotiated salary increases averaging 4 percent and protects the sanctity of lesson planning time.

"I don't anticipate a lot of discussion," York-Amstutz said. "This has a lot of the things that we really wanted."

Negotiators went back to the bargaining table after 77 percent of teachers overwhelmingly rejected the previous negotiated contract, which omitted language regarding physical education teachers and guidance counselors as well as first-year teachers' eligibility for extended leave.

If a majority of instructional staff were to vote in favor of the agreement on Thursday, a special School Board meeting would be held that evening to approve the contract. The union represents about 7,600 teachers.

[Last modified: Tuesday, December 1, 2015 8:22am]


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