• 'We can do better': Orange County teachers nix latest proposal in wage negotiations

    By: Ken Tyndall , Michael Lopardi


    ORANGE COUNTY, Fla. - Orange County teachers are sending the school board and teachers union back to the bargaining table, voting to reject the latest wage proposal on Monday.

    More than 4,800 votes were counted and verified throughout the day on the latest offer from the district which includes a salary increase. 

    Officials tallied 3,843 "no" votes against 1,017 "yes" votes, according to a news release from the Orange County Classroom Teachers Association. 

    READ: Florida to offer teachers bonuses up to $15K to work at some of its worst schools

    "We feel the bargaining team got the best deal they could, considering everything," said Wendy Doromal of the OCCTA. "We want our teachers to be paid as the professional experts they are."

    Parties from both sides of the table were there Monday to watch the process.

    Opponents of the raise are worried that the extra money will be wiped out by higher insurance costs and an increase in the cost of living. 

    "I really think if you look at our budget priorities and examine it much more closely, we can do better for our teachers here," said teacher Mark Nolan.

    READ: Teacher pay: Which states pay teachers the most?

    Doromal said in her news release that Florida teachers rank 46th in the nation in teacher pay. 

    "The Florida Department of Education projects over 10,000 teacher vacancies for the upcoming school year and lawmakers continue to tie up state funds so that districts and unions are not able to negotiate fair pay agreements,” Doromal said.

    Members of OCCTA expect to get back to the bargaining table with the school board as soon as possible. 

    READ: Brevard Public Schools superintendent announces new plan for teacher raises

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