Hillsborough school district and teachers’ union reach tentative agreement including raises, bonuses, child care assistance, and other benefits
The Hillsborough Classroom Teachers Association (HCTA) and Hillsborough County Public Schools (HCPS) announce they have reached a tentative agreement for the upcoming 2018-19 school year. Under the tentative agreement, teachers will realize pay raises, a reduction in child care costs, and other benefits.
It is important to note this tentative agreement was reached at the negotiating table and must now be voted on by the Hillsborough County School Board and ratified by the members of the HCTA bargaining unit.
The tentative agreement would deliver $4,000 raises to both groups of teachers discussed in recent negotiations — those who were eligible for “one-level” increases in the 2017-18 and 2018-19 school years (around two-thirds of the district’s teachers). Teacher’s aides and other instructional support staff would receive a pay raise of approximately 6.25 percent and a one-time bonus of $150. Experienced teachers at the top of the pay scale would receive a one-time payment of up to 2 percent of their salary.
All employees would also receive:
- Reduced child care costs through the HOST before- and after-school program offered in most Hillsborough County Public Schools
- 100 percent of the premium for an employee-only health care plan paid for by the school district, continuing a benefit from previous years
- Additional pay if they qualify as a National Board Certified Teacher or an eligible employee at a high-needs “Renaissance” school
The tentative agreement includes concessions that acknowledge the financial challenges the district is facing. For example, for teachers who will receive “Best and Brightest” pay bonuses from the state, the district would reduce its own district-level “performance pay.” (Eligible non-classroom teachers who do not receive the state
bonus would still receive district performance pay.) Also, the increased pay for eligible teachers would temporarily take effect on Oct. 22 instead of earlier in the school year, which saves the district money in the 2018-19 fiscal year, but still raises those teachers’ base salaries by $4,000 going forward.
Both groups agreed to work together to assess the potential for a new salary schedule. Both groups also intend to work together to show the public the need for increased education funding. Florida consistently ranks near the bottom nationwide in public education funding, and base funding from the Legislature rose by just 47 cents per student for the 2018-19 school year. Future salary negotiations would prioritize compensation for the group of teachers who would be eligible for “one-level” increases in 2019-20.
HCTA represents approximately 15,500 teachers and 4,500 educational support personnel.
To make the agreement possible, district leaders reduced expenses to make more funds available for compensation, while working to end a budget deficit that stood at $130 million just three years ago.
The tentative agreement asks represented employees to make significant concessions in light of the financial situation, while still providing for raises and other benefits they have been seeking since last year. Once both sides accept this agreement, the impasse from 2017-18 will be dismissed.