Battle between Brevard County Schools, Federation of Teachers still brewing



BREVARD COUNTY, Fla. - As Brevard County schools are set to open next week, a battle between the district and the Brevard Federation of Teachers is still brewing.

Richard Smith, the president of the teachers union, is outraged by a letter sent out by Superintendent Brian Binggeli that references unsettled budget issues the sides have faced.

"The teachers of this county have gone five long years with minimal amount of raise," said Smith. "The superintendent sent it out purportedly as a welcome back letter, but it turned out to be a, 'Here's our side of the argument,' letter."

Smith said the school district wants to give a $1,300 per year pay raise to all employees. But the superintendent said he wants to use extra money to save jobs and programs.

"He thinks the teachers are a piggy bank that he goes into to save programs," said Smith.

The teacher's union wants only teachers to get a raise of $1,650 and while the battle continues, the superintendent said all employees will get a 1.5 percent pay  increase on their first paycheck but any other raises would have to wait.

The school district is expected to discuss the salary issue with the union at a hearing on Sept. 26.