SALARY IMPASSE UPDATES

 

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December 14, 2021

Yesterday the District sent another News You Cannot Use with untruthful and distorted information. The chart below is an attempt to unravel the facts:

comparison chart

  • Disaster relief/bonus given by District or Governor – Item is misleading because teachers already received the money and that was not part of OCPS offer. Classroom teachers received the money directly from the State. OCCTA and OCPS signed an MOU to provide the bonus to non-classroom teachers who were excluded by the Governor.
  • Performance Pay – Money allocated by the State. The District cannot use that money for anything else.
  • Three-Year Retention Supplement – Paid using federal funds. Supplement will go away after three years.
  • Reality – After the ESSER funded supplements are gone, a highly effective teacher will only make $0.12 an hour more than last year.
  • Reality– Accepting this offer can set up a precedent that the District will only use TSIA allocation from the state to fund salary increases.

 

FOR SALARY IMPASSE UPDATES:/SALARY-IMPASSE-UPDATES-6-20838.html

FOR HEALTH AND SAFETY IMPASSE UPDATES

/SPECIAL-MAGISTRATE-DECISION-ON-HEALTH-AND-SAFETY-6-20722.html 


December 9, 2021

Corrected NYCU:

News you can usepage 2 NYCU

Yesterday (December 8, 2021) the District sent a News You Can Use that wrongfully stated that the impasse hearing would be held next week. This is not true. The parties have still not set a date and we will let you know as soon as we do. 

Our attorney received an email yesterday that they would meet the next day (today) to set a date, time and place for the hearing. Then just hours later, the District's News You Can Use went out!  The District’s refusal to collaborate and insistence on maintaining autocratic control has reached new heights. OCCTA will insist that this important hearing be held at a time that our attorneys and teachers can be in attendance.

The “facts” in the District’s email also need to be corrected. 

Comparison with other Districts:

The District often compares Orange County’s salaries to small local districts that have lower cost of living and housing expenses than Orange County. A true comparison is with the state’s other large districts. Notice which district is on the bottom!  From the Florida DOE 2021-2022 Final Survey Teacher Salaries:

Hillsborough: 54,025.29

Broward: 53,836.88

Palm Beach: 53,504.42

Miami-Dade: 52,713.16

Orange: 51,109.32

Let's Compare Superintendent and Teacher Salariesteacher vs superintendent

 

Cost of Proposals

The Union’s salary proposal costs $48,217,761 and the District’s proposal, including the non-recurring supplement, costs $44,805,272—a less than $3.5 million difference. The District insists on bonuses and raises, even though for years we have stated that teachers need raises! Banks look at salary, not bonuses when deciding if a person qualifies for a mortgage or car loan. 

The real reason the District rejected the union's recurring wage proposal

The District refuses to budget for raises and depends on state funding alone. Last year the total amount of money that school districts received from the state was mandated by law to be spent to raise the base salary of all teachers to $47,500. There was a tiny pot of money left to raise veteran teachers a minuscule amount.  OCCTA had to declare impasse to get the District to put in some of their money to include the VPK teachers in the base pay raise. 

The District’s salary proposal amounts to a base hourly increase of $0.02 to $0.12, depending on the teacher’s evaluation, even though there is no dispute that the District can afford at least the majority of the Union’s salary proposal this year as most of its cost is already contemplated in the 2021-2022 budget.

 

The real issue is the District’s unwillingness to prioritize teachers and refusal to budget appropriately in outgoing years.

 

The budgets for outgoing years have not yet been developed, and the District has the capability to explore cost saving decisions and to prioritize accordingly.

 

Teachers only ask that the District leave no stone unturned. It has not done so. Instead, the District proposed a minimal increase funded entirely by state categorical dollars (that it could not legally spend on anything else) and a one-time supplement that will not pay for teachers’ recurring bills or allow them to plan their finances or support their families.

The Union agrees with the Magistrate’s analysis to the extent he notes “TSIA cannot be the sole source of funding for educator raises," and that “the District is permitted to budget for salary increases and may look to other funding sources to support is efforts.” However, educators do not trust that the District prioritized salaries or made any real effort to fully evaluate options for funding recurring raises outside of state categorical dollars. The Union suggested several potential sources of funding for recurring increases and it is the District’s job to explore each of these and other opportunities.

Similarly, OCPS rejected OCCTA's proposed longevity supplement to reward dedicated teachers for their many years of service and expertise. Meriam-Webster defines longevity as “long continuance”. However, instead of a continued and recurring supplement for veteran teachers, as proposed by the Union and recommended by the Magistrate, the District insists on using ESSER funds to give a temporary supplement that disappears in three years sending veteran teachers to a salary cliff. The District must commit to correcting the unjust salary structure for our most veteran teachers and implement a recurring longevity supplement.  

What about  health insurance provisions?

The District wants to raise the cost of health care in the middle of a pandemic, at the same time that it proposes a $25 cost of living adjustment. Of course OCCTA rejects any increase to health insurance costs during this difficult time. The Special Magistrate agreed with the Union and wrote:

"It is important to note that our Country is just beginning to break free from the negative effects caused by the pandemic. During this time, the record reflects, and there is no dispute, that bargaining unit members put their own health at risk by continuing to perform their teaching duties with students on an in-person basis. In addition, the record reflects and there is no dispute that numerous teachers spend their own money to ensure that their student’s educational and safety needs are met. Moreover, the record reflects that many bargaining unit members are forced to work more than one job in order to meet the needs of their family budget. To this Magistrate, it would be unconscionable to recommend that bargaining unit members pay more than the status quo for health care.

 

While there may be a time to do so, now is surely not the time. . . this Magistrate recommends NO CHANGE to the current health coverage."

At the November Insurance Trustee meeting it was confirmed that the District met the required 60 months to maintain the self-insured status. It is unnecessary to raise healthcare costs at this point.

We are seeing more and more teachers resign and retire early. There are vacancies in schools across the District. OCPS must treat teachers as the experienced professionals we are and not as disposable and replaceable labor units. Stand up and speak out now. Every teacher is worth more than the .02 - 12 cents an hour pay raise that OCPS offered.

For more information and to read the recommendations please go to this link:

 

/SALARY-IMPASSE-UPDATES-6-20838.html .

 

 

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DISTRICT AND OCCTA RESPONSES SENT TO PERC - SCHOOL BOARD IMPASSE PUBLIC HEARING TO BE SET

OCCTA considered the Special Magistrate's decision and the survey results to submit the Union's  Response to the Special Magistrate's Report and Recommendations

to the Public Employee Relations Commission (PERC). We rejected the Special Magistrate's decision on salary stating: 

"The Union rejects the Magistrate’s recommendation as to Article XVI(A)– Salary, Salary Increases & 2021-22 One-time Supplement.

The District’s salary proposal, as accepted by the Magistrate, fails to use fiscal ingenuity to provide real raises—it is wrong to encourage such a practice that devalues teachers so gravely.

The District’s salary proposal amounts to a base hourly increase of $0.02 to $0.12, depending on the teacher’s evaluation, even though there is no dispute that the District can afford at least the majority of the Union’s salary proposal this year as most of its cost is already contemplated in the 2021-2022 budget. The real issue is the District’s willingness to prioritize teachers and choose to budget appropriately in outgoing years. The budgets for outgoing years have not yet been developed, and the District has the capability to explore cost saving decisions and to prioritize accordingly.Teachers only ask that the District leave no stone unturned. It has not done so.

Instead, the District proposed a minimal increase funded entirely by state categorical dollars (that it could not legally spend on anything else) and a one-time supplement that will not pay for teachers’ recurring bills or allow them to plan their finances or support their families.The Union agrees with theMagistrate’s analysis to the extent he notes “TSIA cannot be the sole source of funding for educator raises," and that “the District is permitted to budget for salary increases and may look to other funding sources to support is efforts.”However, educators do not trust that the District prioritized salaries or made any real effort to fully evaluate options for funding recurring raises outside of state categorical dollars. The Union suggested several potential sources of funding for recurring increases and it is the District’s job to explore each of these and other opportunities.

Any recommendation that supports the District’s refusal to budget for educator salary increases should be rejected. The District cannot be allowed to rely solely on categorical state funds for salary increases, ultimately becoming a pass-through organization and thereby rendering negotiations meaningless and depriving educators of livable wages. The school system and the public deserve better.The interest and welfare of the public is served by valuing teachers and providing salaries that attract and retain qualified and dedicated educators.

The Union’s salary proposal costs $48,217,761 and the District’s proposal, including the non-recurring supplement, costs $44,805,272—a less than $3.5 million difference.

The real issue is the District’s willingness to prioritize teachers and choose to budget appropriately in outgoing years. The budgets for outgoing years have not yet been developed, and the District has the capability to explore cost saving decisions and to prioritize accordingly. Teachers only ask that the District leave no stone unturned. It has not done so.

Accordingly, OCCTA respectfully rejects the Special Magistrate’s recommendation as to Article XVI(A) – Salary and its one-time supplement for instructional employees."

OCCTA supports the  following special magistrate's recommendations: the longevity supplement,  no increase to health insurance, a 5% salary supplement for all lead nurses, including summer sick leave into the CBA and allowing all employees to donate sick leave to other employees.

Please read the Districts Partial Rejection of the Special Magistrate's Decision at this link.

. The District supported the Special Magistrate's salary recommendation to support the District's $25 annual base salary and a $2,500 bonus.  The District rejected the following recommendations of the Special Magistrate: the annual longevity supplement, no increase to health insurance costs, and the lead nurse supplement.

Thank you to everyone who took the survey -over 1,550 of you!  The results helped us to respond to the special magistrate's decision.

 

District's Salary Offer

  • ACCEPT - 26%

  • REJECT -  74%

Health Insurance Coverage

  • ACCEPT - 97%

  • REJECT - 3%

Annual Longevity/Years of Employment Supplement

  • ACCEPT - 94%

  • REJECT - 6%

Sick Leave Accrual

  • ACCEPT - 98%

  • REJECT - 4%

Sick Leave Donation

  • ACCEPT - 96%

  • REJECT -5%

Lead Nurse Supplement

  • ACCEPT - 89%

  • REJECT -11%

Method of Payment (Number of pay checks - both parties withdrew)

  • ACCEPT - 55%

  • REJECT - 45%

 

Read the Special Magistrate's Decision

Read the Unions post-hearing Brief 

page 1

page 2

What's next? (See the timeline below).  The recommendations of both parties will be sent to the School Board, the School Board will schedule and hold a public hearing to decide the issues and the board's recommendations will be put out for a ratification vote.

The Impasse Timeline for Salary, Benefits and Working Conditions:

salary timeline

 


November 8, 2021

SPECIAL MAGISTRATE DECISION ON SALARIES AND CBA

On Monday, November 8th Special Magistrate Dennis Campagna, submitted recommendations as to teacher compensation and other issues at impasse.

The Magistrate’s decision contains several well-reasoned recommendations that would benefit our teachers and the public interest. The Special Magistrate recommended:

  • An annual longevity supplement ranging from $500 - $3,000 based on years of employment with the District;

  • No change to the current health insurance coverage and employee costs;

  • A 5% base salary supplement for all Lead Nurses;

  • Including summer sick leave accrual into the CBA; and

  • Allowing employee to employee sick leave donation.

The Magistrate also rejected the District’s position at bargaining that only state categorical funds can be used for raises; however, he ultimately found that the District may not have the funds for additional recurring salary increases this year, and therefore accepted the District’s proposal of a $25-$175 base salary increase (depending on evaluations) and a one-time $2,500 supplement for teachers.  

The Magistrate acknowledged that failure to provide a longevity supplement will perpetuate harsh inequities that have led to disproportionately lower pay for experienced teachers, and his recommendation would be a huge step towards mitigating these discrepancies and increasing veteran teacher pay for years.

Further, the Magistrate agreed with the Union that the District cannot increase the cost of health care, during a pandemic, and at the time that the majority of its proposed wage increase comes in the form of a one-time supplement. The Magistrate wrote:

"it is important to note that our Country is just beginning to break free from the negative effects caused by the pandemic.

During this time, the record reflects, and there is no dispute, that bargaining unit members put their own health at risk by continuing to perform their teaching duties with students on an in-person basis. In addition, the record reflects and there is no dispute that numerous teachers spend their own money to ensure that their student’s educational and safety needs are met. Moreover, the record reflects that many bargaining unit members are forced to work more than one job in order to meet the needs of their family budget. To this Magistrate,

it would be unconscionable to recommend that bargaining unit members pay more than the status quo for health care.

While there may be a time to do so, now is surely not the time. . . this Magistrate recommends NO CHANGE to the current health coverage."

The OCCTA bargaining team is considering next steps and will release a survey for input.

Read the Special Magistrate's Recommendations

 

Read the Unions post-hearing Brief 


Trustee Meeting Proves No Need to Increase Health Insurance Costs

April 2021 Employee Benefits Report:
• Total Earned Revenue decrease to $116,861,938 from $125,500,681 this time period last year (-6.88% compared to the prior plan period). Overall employee membership decrease by 973 members.
• The Florida Office of Insurance Regulation (FLOIR) requires the district to have stabilization reserve equal to minimum of 60 days of incurred claims. Currently, the district’s stabilization reserve is only at $27.2M (40.44 days) in comparison to the required FLOIR reserve (60 days) the district should have a balance of $40.36M which reflects a deficit of $13.16M or 19.56 days.

Impasse - Magistrate Discussion:
• In this regard, the record reflects that even with increased premium contributions, the District experienced a deficit of $446,907 that was obligated from the general fund for the stabilization reserve in order to meet the required sixty (60) days of claims.
• While the District has experienced increased costs in health coverage, so too have employees.
• Finally, it is important to note that our Country is just beginning to break free from the negative effects caused by the pandemic. During this time, the record reflects, and there is no dispute, that bargaining unit members put their own health at risk by continuing to perform their teaching duties with students on an in-person basis. In addition, the record reflects and there is no dispute that numerous teachers spend their own money to ensure that their student’s educational and safety needs are met. Moreover, the record reflects that many bargaining unit members are forced to work more than one job in order to meet the needs of their family budget.
• To this Magistrate, it would be unconscionable to recommend that bargaining unit members pay more than the status quo for health care. While there may be a time to do so, now is surely not the time.


November 2021 Employee Benefits Report:
• Total Earned Revenue increase to $188,880,423 from $187,500,382 this time period last year (0.74% compared to the prior plan period). Overall employee membership decreased by 1,323 members.
• The Florida Office of Insurance Regulation (FLOIR) requires the district to have stabilization reserve equal to minimum of 60 days of incurred claims. Currently, the district’s stabilization reserve is at $42.5M (63.44 days) in comparison to the required FLOIR reserve (60 days) the district is required to have a balance of $40.23M. We are currently in an excess of $2.3M or 3.44 days.

In April 2021, OCPS reported a deficit of 19.56 days while in November 2021 it reported and excess of 3.44 days.


November 5, 2021

Read the brief that CTA sent to the Special Magistrate today.

Download File (Union's Post Impasse Hearing Brief - annotated.pdf)