Pinellas County teachers ratified the working conditions portion of a new contract Wednesday, voting to support an agreement that guarantees planning time for middle and high school employees and limits the number of courses for which they must prepare.
The vote: 55 percent in favor, 45 percent against.
A total of 4,693 ballots were cast, which means about 60 percent of the district's teachers participated in the vote.
Union president Kim Black said it's difficult to compare this vote with past votes, since the salary and benefits piece was not attached to the contract. Those issues are still being bargained and will be part of a future vote, Black said.
"The big victory is that we've protected our working conditions for the next three years," she said. "The No. 1 goal was to avoid layoffs at all costs, and we've done that. Now we have to continue to fight against furloughs and pay cuts."
The contract still must be approved by the School Board. A vote is scheduled for Tuesday.