OCPS, teachers union remain at impasse over voluntary Pre-K teacher pay

ORANGE COUNTY, Fla. — Orange County Public Schools and the union representing their teachers are at an impasse over raises.

The district has agreed to raise pay for the majority of teachers, but not voluntary pre-kindergarten teachers.

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The union says they’ll reject any offer that doesn’t include a raise for these volunteers.

OCCTA DECLARES IMPASSE ON SALARIES.

Posted by Orange County Classroom Teachers Association on Thursday, October 29, 2020

VPK teachers make up less than one percent of the approximately 14,000 OCPS teachers.

“It’s overwhelming...especially when VPK teachers were not given the option of virtual,” VPK teacher Erin McCullough says. “We had to do face to face.”

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A House Bill set aside $400 million to increase minimum pay for incoming teachers, and another $100 million for veteran teachers, but that money did not cover VPK teachers.

OCPS got $27.8 million from the state and agreed to a minimum pay increase of $47,500 and a 1.27 percent raise for veteran teachers, but they drew the line at VPK raises, which would cost an additional $211,000.

OCPS said in a statement, “During these turbulent times, while the district is doing everything it can to preserve jobs, OCPS is not able to offer raises to other employees not included in the mandated funds.”

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Some other Central Florida districts agreed to an increase for all teachers- including VPK- but their base minimum was lower.

The Orange County Classroom Teachers Association declared in impasse, meaning an arbitrator will likely get involved.

Cierra Putman, WFTV.com

Cierra Putman flew south to join Eyewitness News in July 2016.