Unions, Seminole County Schools hammer out wage increase deal

By: Jeff Levkulich

Updated:

SEMINOLE COUNTY, Fla. - In an effort to catch up with other districts and make the county more appealing to talented teachers, Seminole County Schools came to an agreement with four unions to increase pay across the board.

The unions represent teachers, bus drivers, custodians and secretaries, and after negotiating with the district, they came to a two-year wage increase agreement.

The starting salary for a teacher in Seminole County was increased to $40,000, up $1,000 from the previous year.

“That’s one thing we take pride in this year, is that the four (union) presidents and the four unions have worked together and this raise is for everyone, not just the teachers,” said Eric Brady, president of the bus drivers’ union.

The employees represented by the unions will receive a 2.51 percent raise this year and a 0.86 percent increase for the 2018-2019 school year.

“It’s a constant battle, retention and recruitment, so hopefully our salary increase and our starting salary increase will all be factors in getting people to apply to Seminole County,” Brady said.

While union officials know some members will argue that the raises are not enough, Brady said it is a good deal and recommends they pass it.

“It’s a way for people to start to afford better things,” he said, adding that the hope is the changes will bring more employees to Seminole County. “Maybe with the cost-of-living increases and being able to provide for their families better.”

The unions will hold a ratification vote will be held on Nov. 30, and, if passed, the agreement will start affecting salaries in December and back pay will be distributed in January.

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