Make us your home page

Today’s top headlines delivered to you daily.

(View our Privacy Policy)

Pasco schools propose one-time bonus to school employees

LAND O'LAKES — The nearly 900 Pasco school district employees who don't get to negotiate their terms of employment stand to get the same general deal that the district's teachers cut during contract talks.

Superintendent Heather Fiorentino is recommending that all 331 administrators and 556 non-negotiating, non-instructional staff get a one-time bonus based on years of service to the district. Unlike the teachers' checks, though, these will not contribute to the employees' pension fund or count toward their retirement.

The amount to cover the bonuses is $330,584 for administrators and $410,895 for the non-bargaining, non-instructional staff.

Only Fiorentino and the School Board members will not get additional funds. Lawmakers imposed a 2 percent pay cut on all elected superintendents, and passed a law stating that board members can not earn more than a first-year teacher in their district.

Jim Ciadella, lead negotiator for Pasco teachers, called the proposed bonus package fair.

"Those people work as well," Ciadella said. "They deserve compensation."

He said the United School Employees of Pasco has come to expect that the contract terms it strikes with the district will fall in line with what the district offers employees who aren't represented in collective bargaining.

If the offers are not consistent, the USEP reserves the right to ask for a reconsideration of the settlement.

School Board members said they want to treat all employees as equitably as possible. The district's initial offer to the USEP was to give every employee the same amount of money, regardless of job title or years with the district.

USEP representatives rejected that idea, saying the bonuses should be differentiated upon type of work and longevity with the system. Now the proposal calls for teacher supplements ranging from $550 to $850, based on years of service.

"If it was uniform (bonuses) across the board, I don't know that I would have a problem with it," chairman Frank Parker said, noting that the nonunion workers stand to get slightly less than the USEP members because their bonus does not include retirement benefits.

Board member Kathryn Starkey said that, with no raises, all employees deserve some additional spending money: "Everyone is hurting financially."

Still, she raised a concern that the district might have been better off freezing pay.

"The most fiscally responsible thing would be nobody gets anything, because I think we're going to be in an even worse situation next year," Starkey said, mentioning that federal stimulus money will run out in a year and the state is projecting its deficit to grow.

"If people are able, they should take this bonus and set it aside and not spend it," Starkey said. "Unfortunately, most people are not in a position to do that."

USEP members have not yet ratified their contract agreement. They are scheduled to vote Nov. 19.

The School Board is set to consider the contract Tuesday, the same day it plans to set the benefits and compensation package for nonunion employees.

Jeffrey S. Solochek can be reached at or (813) 909-4614. For more education news, visit the Gradebook at

Pasco schools propose one-time bonus to school employees 11/11/09 [Last modified: Wednesday, November 11, 2009 8:28pm]
Photo reprints | Article reprints

© 2017 Tampa Bay Times


Join the discussion: Click to view comments, add yours

  1. Search for missing Army helicopter crew suspended in Hawaii


    HONOLULU — Officials have suspended the search for five Army soldiers who were aboard a helicopter that crashed during offshore training in Hawaii last week.

    Water safety officials hand over possible debris from an Army UH-60 Black Hawk helicopter crash to military personnel stationed at a command center in a harbor, Wednesday in Haleiwa, Hawaii, a day after. an Army helicopter with five on board crashed several miles off Oahu's North Shore. Officials  suspended the search for five Army soldiers in a helicopter crash during offshore training in Hawaii on Monday. [Associated Press]
  2. Rubio praises Trump for 'excellent' speech on Afghanistan


    Sen. Marco Rubio praised President Donald Trump's "excellent" speech on Afghanistan. Sen. Bill Nelson was less effusive but agreed with the goal.

  3. Gov. Rick Scott blasts report of shifting words on Charlottesville


    Gov. Rick Scott, one of the most scripted politicians in modern Florida history, said Monday that "both sides” bear blame for Charlottesville.

  4. Record $417 million awarded in lawsuit linking baby powder to cancer


    LOS ANGELES — A Los Angeles jury on Monday ordered Johnson & Johnson to pay a record $417 million to a hospitalized woman who claimed in a lawsuit that the talc in the company's iconic baby powder causes ovarian cancer when applied regularly for feminine hygiene.

    A bottle of Johnson's baby powder is displayed. On Monday, Aug. 21, 2017, a Los Angeles County Superior Court spokeswoman confirmed that a jury has ordered Johnson & Johnson to pay $417 million in a case to a woman who claimed in a lawsuit that the talc in the company's iconic baby powder causes ovarian cancer when applied regularly for feminine hygiene. [Associated Press]
  5. Search under way for missing sailors; Navy chief orders inquiry


    SINGAPORE — The U.S. Navy ordered a broad investigation Monday into the performance and readiness of the Pacific-based 7th Fleet after the USS John S. McCain collided with an oil tanker in Southeast Asian waters, leaving 10 U.S. sailors missing and others injured.

    Damage is visible as the USS John S. McCain steers toward Singapore’s naval base on Monday.