Education

Teachers get raises, keep healthcare in new deal reached with Broward schools

Broward Teachers Union president Anna Fusco, with Broward County Public Schools Superintendent Robert Runcie behind her, discusses the tentative agreement reached by the BTU and BCPS at Wednesday morning’s news conference.
Broward Teachers Union president Anna Fusco, with Broward County Public Schools Superintendent Robert Runcie behind her, discusses the tentative agreement reached by the BTU and BCPS at Wednesday morning’s news conference. Broward County Public Schools

Broward’s public schoolteachers will receive $2,300 to $8,000 in salary supplements over the next four years and continue to have their individual healthcare paid for in an tentative agreement reached between the Broward schools the school district and the Broward Teachers Union.

The two organizations, often at odds, announced the to-be-ratified contract in a joint Tuesday morning news conference.

As for base pay, most teachers will get a 2.16 percent increase with the pledge from the school district that it will start negotiations on additional increases for 2019-20 after the Florida Legislature nails down its budget.

But what the district and the union say is a lack of adequate additional financial help from the state — 40 cents per student, Superintendent Robert Runcie said — made money from August’s property tax-raising referendum much more important. Voters approved the measure handily, 63 percent voting for it, and teachers will get supplements for each year from 2019-20 to 2022-23.

“That’s a ginormous accomplishment that I know our educators are going to be very grateful for,” teachers union President Anna Fusco said. “Thank you to the public that voted in August and saw the value of our educators. You saw that, unfortunately, our state, sometimes, doesn’t realize you need to add more to the budget.”

As for the healthcare payment, “It is a benefit that all employees of BCPS had for a very long time,” Fusco said. “Keeping it intact was a very big win.”

Runcie said paying all of employee-only healthcare is “a competitive advantage for Broward County Public Schools. I don’t believe there are any districts in the state of Florida that still pay 100 percent of the cost for their employee-only coverage.”

The two sides also agreed to adjustments to the teacher evaluation system.

“We anticipate as a result of these changes, we’ll see more highly effective teachers and enable them to participate in a greater level in the Best and Brightest Award and pay incentives that are available through the state,” Runcie said.

Paying teachers more will help Miami-Dade County Public Schools attract and retain the best teachers for our children. Teacher of the Year, Rudy Diaz urges voters to fill in YES #362 at the bottom of the ballot for better teacher pay.

Since 1989, David J. Neal’s domain at the Miami Herald has expanded to include writing about Panthers (NHL and FIU), Dolphins, old school animation, food safety, fraud, naughty lawyers, bad doctors and all manner of breaking news. He drinks coladas whole. He does not work Indianapolis 500 Race Day.


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