South Florida schools

Broward reaches tentative $62 million contract deal with teachers

 
 
FILE--Broward Schools Superintendent Robert Runcie addresses the audience at a town-hall style meeting at Western High School in Davie, Florida on Oct. 2, 2013.
FILE--Broward Schools Superintendent Robert Runcie addresses the audience at a town-hall style meeting at Western High School in Davie, Florida on Oct. 2, 2013.
CARL JUSTE / MIAMI HERALD STAFF

mrvasquez@MiamiHerald.com

After months of sometimes-tense negotiations, the Broward School district has reached a tentative contract deal with its teachers union. It’s a three-year agreement that awards nearly $62 million in raises to teachers.

Much of those salary increases are funded by $47 million in state dollars — specifically earmarked for teacher raises — that the Legislature and Gov. Rick Scott approved for Broward earlier this year. Broward’s share was part of a larger $480 million statewide pot of money set aside for teacher raises.

Miami-Dade’s school district announced a $70 million agreement with its teachers earlier this week.

Broward’s new contract deal, which must still be approved by Broward Teachers Union members and the School Board, provides an average salary increase of roughly five percent this year. In actual dollars, that translates to an average raise amount of roughly $2,000.

The agreement also settles a contentious issue for Broward: how to pay high school teachers a debt of more than $20 million stemming from class schedules that were altered last year. In order to reduce class sizes, Superintendent Robert Runcie forced high schools to adopt a uniform seven-period class schedule last year. The teachers union protested the change, which added a class, and therefore additional workload, for many teachers.

The dispute ended up in arbitration, where the union won. That arbitration ruling forced Broward to award back pay to its high school teachers who were forced to teach an additional class. According to the contract deal announced Friday, Broward will pay that $20 million-plus debt over five years.

In negotiating that time frame, BTU President Sharon Glickman said the union had to work within the district’s tight budget picture — with a five-year payoff, the debt gets paid without busting Broward’s budget, she said.

“I would have liked less, and I tried for less,” Glickman said of the five-year timeline.

Going forward, high school teachers this year who are forced to teach a sixth class will receive an additional payment of $2,000. Those who choose to teach a seventh class will get paid $6,000 for that additional responsibility. Teachers will also be given more input into the selection of high school schedules in the future.

In a press conference where he was flanked by union reps and School Board members, Runcie praised the agreement as “a win for our teachers, our students, and our community.”

Read more Schools stories from the Miami Herald

Miami Herald

Join the
Discussion

The Miami Herald is pleased to provide this opportunity to share information, experiences and observations about what's in the news. Some of the comments may be reprinted elsewhere on the site or in the newspaper. We encourage lively, open debate on the issues of the day, and ask that you refrain from profanity, hate speech, personal comments and remarks that are off point. Thank you for taking the time to offer your thoughts.

The Miami Herald uses Facebook's commenting system. You need to log in with a Facebook account in order to comment. If you have questions about commenting with your Facebook account, click here.

Have a news tip? You can send it anonymously. Click here to send us your tip - or - consider joining the Public Insight Network and become a source for The Miami Herald and el Nuevo Herald.

Hide Comments

This affects comments on all stories.

Cancel OK

  • Marketplace

Today's Circulars

  • Quick Job Search

Enter Keyword(s) Enter City Select a State Select a Category