With eye on horizon, district, union settle

Published: Friday, November 9, 2012 at 11:27 AM.

The Gulf County School District has reached an agreement for the coming year with the union representing teachers and non-instructional personnel, but it is the years beyond that have both sides concerned.

The agreement for the current year, ratified by the Gulf Education Association in September, calls for no salary increases or changes in contract language.

The contract language will remain intact through 2016.

But looming on the horizon is a legislative bill passed in the spring that mandates that all public school districts have an “instructional performance salary schedule” no later than the 2014-15 school year.

The GCEA and Gulf District Schools agreed to begin negotiating that performance salary schedule – which will apply only to teachers hired after July 1, 2011, unless a teacher currently under a professional services contract can opt into that salary schedule – beginning in January.

The problem for the district, and Gulf County is not alone, is the wording of the law passed by the Florida Legislature in the spring.

That law, Sara Joe Wooten, Assistant Superintendent for Instruction, says that a teacher receiving “high-performing” pay in a given year will have that pay applied permanently to their salary.

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