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Salary negotiations in Pinellas break down over tutoring



When is teaching really teaching?

That seemed to be the crux of a snag in salary negotiations Tuesday between the Pinellas County School District and the Pinellas Classroom Teachers Association. Negotiators from the school district offered to create a $20 an hour uniform rate of pay for teachers who work in certain extended learning programs. Many teachers are being paid $15 an hour, but not all schools are paying out the same rate.

Kim Black, union president, said she's opposed to "discounted" teaching. She wants the district to pay teachers at their regular rate of pay.

The district's team argued that tutoring children before or after school in small groups isn't the same as teaching a full classroom of students during the regular work day. 

"Tutoring for three kids is not instruction?" Black asked.

"No," said William Corbett, the district's deputy superintendent.

Ron Ciranna, the district's head of human resources, said the district's compensation manual calls for teachers in such situations to be paid $13 an hour.

"We're trying to give your members more money and you're fighting us," Ciranna said.

Black said the district offers teachers $28 to $30 an hour to tutor through its supplemental education services program. She asked how that's different than the extended learning programs. Corbett said he wasn't as familiar with SES, which was changed this year by lawmakers. 

The district has about $4.5 million budgeted to pay for such services this year; the negotiators couldn't say how much it would cost to pay teachers at their regular rate.

Earlier this year, the school district wanted to pay teachers a discounted rate for Summer Bridge. The union fought and won, getting teachers their regular rate of pay. Corbett said Tuesday that Summer Bridge is different than tutoring small groups of students.

Negotiations were ongoing as of 8 p.m. Check back for updates.

[Last modified: Tuesday, September 3, 2013 8:30pm]


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