Make us your home page
Instagram

Today’s top headlines delivered to you daily.

(View our Privacy Policy)

Hernando School Board, teachers divided on contract offer

BROOKSVILLE — Superintendent Wayne Alexander is predicting that contract negotiations between the Hernando County School Board and its teachers union could be wrapped up within a month.

He said the latest board proposal is a bargain the union should grab with both hands.

"We have the largest offer on the table in the state," Alexander said last week, referring to the 5 percent raise the board has tendered. "Many counties are going with (salary scale) step increases, if that."

Not so fast, say officials with the Hernando Classroom Teachers Association. They believe the true value of the offer is being obscured by the inclusion of health insurance increases. Alexander last spring got a 5.5 percent raise, plus money for health insurance increases, said union president Joe Vitalo.

"He received a 5.5 percent salary increase plus 1.5 percent for insurance, and he received his gas allowance, which comes out to 0.7 percent," Vitalo said. "We should also be looking at 7.7 percent. Don't play the shell game with us."

Nor is the union happy about strings the board attached to its offer.

In a proposal described as a package deal — take it or leave it — the board said teachers should agree to a dress code that includes specific prohibitions on items like blue jeans, shorts, tank tops and sneakers.

Such contract language implies teachers cannot be trusted to dress appropriately, and ignores the fact that principals already have the power to enforce appropriate staff attire, Vitalo said.

"Some days I'm on a field trip or doing a lab, and I have to dress appropriately," he added. "Can't a vocational teacher wear blue jeans when they're working around engines?"

The union has proposed a single sentence to resolve the dress code issue: "Bargaining unit members will dress appropriately and professionally for their job assignments."

"I think that's very close to what we're looking for," Alexander said, describing union worries over the definition of "sneaker" as easily resolved.

The board also wants teachers to accept two additional, unpaid meetings per month. The union suggests taking those hours from an extra training day in the current contract.

Negotiators are scheduled to meet again Sept. 18, when the union is expected to respond formally to the salary offer. Once they reach a deal, unions representing nonteaching staff will likely negotiate over similar terms.

Tom Marshall can be reached at tmarshall@sptimes.com or (352) 848-1431.

Hernando School Board, teachers divided on contract offer 08/31/08 [Last modified: Tuesday, September 2, 2008 6:48pm]
Photo reprints | Article reprints

© 2017 Tampa Bay Times

    

Join the discussion: Click to view comments, add yours

Loading...
  1. In advertising, marketing diversity needs a boost in Tampa Bay, nationally

    Business

    TAMPA — Trimeka Benjamin was focused on a career in broadcast journalism when she entered Bethune-Cookman University.

    From left, Swim Digital marketing owner Trimeka Benjamin discusses the broad lack of diversity in advertising and marketing with 22 Squared copywriter Luke Sokolewicz, University of Tampa advertising/PR professor Jennifer Whelihan, Rumbo creative director George Zwierko and Nancy Vaughn of the White Book Agency. The group recently met at The Bunker in Ybor City.
  2. Kushner to testify before two intelligence committees

    Politics

    WASHINGTON— President Donald Trump's senior adviser and son-in-law Jared Kushner is set to make a second appearance on Capitol Hill — he will speak with the House Intelligence Committee on Tuesday, one day after he is scheduled to speak with Senate Intelligence Committee investigators behind closed doors.

    White House senior adviser Jared Kushner is scheduled to testify before the Senate Intelligence Committee and the House Intelligence Committee. [Associated Press]
  3. Rays blow lead in ninth, lose in 10 to Rangers (w/video)

    The Heater

    ST. PETERSBURG — Rays manager Kevin Cash liked the way Alex Cobb was competing Friday night. He liked the way the hard contact made by the Rangers batters went away after the second or third inning. So as the game headed toward the ninth, there was no doubt in Cash's mind that sending Cobb back to the mound was …

    Rays starter Alex Cobb can hardly believe what just happened as he leaves the game in the ninth after allowing a leadoff double then a tying two-run homer to the Rangers’ Shin-Soo Choo.
  4. Exhumation of Dalí's remains finds his mustache still intact

    World

    FIGUERES, Spain — Forensic experts in Spain have removed hair, nails and two long bones from Salvador Dalí's embalmed remains to aid a court-ordered paternity test that may enable a woman who says she is the surrealist artist's daughter to claim part of Dalí's vast estate.

    Salvador Dal? died in 1989 leaving vast estate.
  5. Sessions discussed Trump campaign-related matters with Russian ambassador, U.S. intelligence intercepts show

    Politics

    WASHINGTON — Russia's ambassador to Washington told his superiors in Moscow that he discussed campaign-related matters, including policy issues important to Moscow, with Jeff Sessions during the 2016 presidential race, contrary to public assertions by the embattled attorney general, current and former U.S. …

    Attorney General Jeff Sessions recused himself from the Russia investigation after meetings with an ambassador were revealed.