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Pasco teachers, school district reach contract deal

The agreement next heads to a ratification vote.

Representatives from the Pasco County school district and the United School Employees of Pasco ended their contract dispute Saturday after four hours of federal mediation.

The sides had been at odds over rules for performance evaluations and added training for teachers at schools in state turnaround status. They had resolved two other areas of disagreement, relating to pay and seniority for layoffs and involuntary transfers, that had led their months-long bargaining effort to a declaration of impasse in January.

Officials from the district and union did not immediately provide details of the deal Monday, saying they were working on a joint statement to make later in the day.

Superintendent Kurt Browning advised School Board members via email that the tentative settlement, which still requires a formal ratification vote by both teachers and the board, would allow the district to begin preparing “long overdue pay raises” for the faculty. The school-related personnel wing of USEP already ratified its contract and received raises, as did non-bargaining staff.

The board has canceled a planned Tuesday executive session, where it had planned to discuss the contract if mediation had failed. The sides have delayed their impasse hearing, and are likely to cancel it.