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Teacher furloughs on hold in Hillsborough County

TAMPA — Teacher furloughs are off the table in Hillsborough County, at least for now, union officials said Wednesday.

The district and teachers union remain far apart on the question of money, said Yvonne Lyons, executive director of the Hillsborough Classroom Teachers' Association. The union has asked for a 2 percent raise, and the district has proposed two unpaid furlough days in the coming year to stem a projected budget shortfall.

But with state funding and tax revenue unclear, Lyons said the two sides have agreed to postpone further discussion on furloughs.

"If we did have to revisit the furlough item, it wouldn't take place until the second semester," Lyons said.

The district told the union that it viewed teacher raises as impossible given the budget situation, said deputy superintendent Dan Valdez.

If the district gets firm confirmation of state budget numbers in the next few weeks, it was still possible the district might seek teacher furloughs for the fall, he said. But unless that happens soon, furloughs would be more likely for spring if they're needed.

The two sides also reached a tentative agreement to cancel school for the entire Thanksgiving week, and put missed days back into the calendar elsewhere, Lyons said. Such a change is viewed as a cost-saving measure due to high absences that week.

Tom Marshall can be reached at tmarshall@sptimes.com or (813) 226-3400.

Teacher furloughs on hold in Hillsborough County 06/24/09 [Last modified: Wednesday, June 24, 2009 10:57pm]
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