• Volusia Co. teachers receive pay increases


    VOLUSIA COUNTY, Fla. - There is good news for about 4,300 Volusia County teachers.

    They learned they'll be making more money as they went back to school Monday.

    The Volusia Teacher's Organization agreed to a contract Friday that gives teachers their first significant raise in seven years -- $2,000 more this year.

    "It's huge, it really is huge. Teachers in Volusia County, like throughout the state, have not seen much of any increase in pay over the last few years. In fact, three out of the last six years we haven't seen any pay increase," Andrew Spar, president of the organization said.

    The money, in part, is coming from Tallahassee.

    Gov. Rick Scott made public promises to give raises to teachers from state coffers.

    Volusia County taxpayers are footing the rest. The district moved around $1.3 million to help afford the raises.

    "For the first time in a long time teachers are actually going to move ahead, economically speaking," Spar said.

    The goal is to keep quality teachers.

    Channel 9 pulled the pay scales from six central Florida counties.

    The pay increase in Volusia puts the district on level with starting pay in Brevard, above Lake County but still below Orange, Seminole and Osceola counties which start teachers at slightly higher salaries.

    "We are one of the lower-paying counties so one of the things we were also trying to do was stay competitive and that's what we talked about with our district in negotiations," Spar said.

    The union will cast its final vote on the raises next Monday.

    The school board would need to vote on Aug. 27.

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