Orange County teachers union agrees to new contract with school district

The head of the union signed the contract Friday afternoon, agreeing to a 5.5% raise

ORANGE COUNTY, Fla. — The Orange County teachers union agreed to a new contract with the school district Friday.

Teachers had been working without a contract for months after they voted to reject an offer from the district in July.

They had been working under the terms of their old deal as of the 2019-2020 school year.

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One of the big issues of contention had been the district trying to strike a two-year deal that included a raise but would have barred teachers from seeking another raise next year.

During the meeting, the teachers' union lined up along one wall in red shirts with the school district representatives facing them from another long table on the other side of the room.

District leaders laid out a one-year deal Friday that includes raises of around 5.5 % on average -- down from an offer of 6% before with the two-year deal.

That's $2,100 a year for effective teachers and $2,800 a year for those rated highly effective.

Another key issue for the teachers was the opportunity to negotiate another raise next year.

The district said it will cover rising health care premiums for this school year, but since it's a one-year deal, teachers face the possibility of paying those increases out of pocket in the 2020-2021 school year.

The district also agreed to allow teachers to have extra planning time.