Ratification Notice

NOTICE OF INTENT TO RATIFY:

Having reached tentative agreements related to salary and working conditions for the Instructional and Support units represented by CCEA, ratification vote shall be conducted September 1st and 2nd. Tentative Agreements (TAs) are available for review on the CCEA website (Collaborative Bargaining | Citrus County Education Association) and will be posted on CCEA bulletin boards at worksites no later than August 19th.  All employees in the affected bargaining units are eligible to cast ballots.  

Ratification Townhall

An informational meeting shall be held on August 22nd -- All Instructional and Support staff are encouraged to attend:

When: Aug 22, 2022 06:30 PM Eastern Time (US and Canada) 

Register in advance for this meeting:
https://floridaea.zoom.us/meeting/register/tZYrd-ysqDMqH9bhOmwFaEB2MlYz0d-H7YLe 

After registering, you will receive a confirmation email containing information about joining the meeting.

CCEA Announces Primary Endorsements

Following weeks of live-streamed interviews with candidates for local office, the Citrus County Education Association has announced endorsements for the 2022 Primary. The screening process, which included interview questions from other Citrus County unions and was coordinated with input from the West Central Florida Labor Council, was open to all primary candidates for local office.

The endorsement committee invited candidates to speak to their priority goals and to clarify how they might support policies benefitting Citrus County students, educators, and families, as well as our public schools. Recordings of all candidate interviews are available on the CCEA Facebook page (Citrus County Education Association | Facebook).

Based on their responses, the following candidates received the endorsement of CCEA's Local Elections Endorsement Committee:

 

TAKE ACTION: Address School Staffing Shortages

Citrus County School District opened the 2021-22 school year with 50 instructional vacancies and 27 classified support vacancies advertised on their website. As of January 1st, the number of job postings has only increased--with 49 instructional vacancies and 36 support vacancies advertised.

To put that in perspective:

  • 42 of the instructional positions posted are for classroom teachers
  • 13 of the instructional positions posted are for teachers serving students with special needs
  • 5 of the instructional positions posted provide critical support services for the neediest students in our schools
  • 25 of the support positions posted are for paraprofessionals -- staff who are intended to provide direct support for learners
  • 10 of the posted paraprofessional positions are essential support for our neediest learners

The impact of understaffed schools has been felt by students and educators alike. In a year so critical to closing gaps created by disruptions to learning during the pandemic, there is no time to spare. Without legislative action, the staffing shortage will likely only get worse as over-worked teachers and staff are driven to consider leaving the jobs they love.

Unfortunately, the legislative session ahead of us could be dominated by distractions that do nothing to address the critical staffing shortages that FL's public school districts are contending with today. Public education advocates know that legislators elected by all of us have the power to enact changes which could draw the very most qualified job candidates and help retain valuable experienced educators here in Citrus Schools. We must be the voice that keeps our elected representatives focused on the REAL problems at hand, and we must make clear that REAL solutions are available! That's why we're calling on legislators to:

1. Fund public education in a way that helps us retain the highly qualified and experienced educators and staff needed to support learning.

2. Encourage qualified, experienced teachers to build careers in education with the opportunity to enter into long-term contracts.

3. Prioritize teacher-led assessments and learning over high-stakes, state-mandated standardized tests.

TAKE ACTION NOW: 

Contact your Representative and Senator and remind them that as the 2022 Legislative Session gets underway, you and your family are counting on them to invest in our future by addressing the teacher and staff shortages in our public schools. (A sample message is provided below)

Find my FL State Senator

Find my FL State Representative

 

SAMPLE MESSAGE:

Dear Representative/Senator ____________,

As you begin what is certain to be a very busy legislative session, I am hopeful that the current teacher and staff shortage in CItrus County Schools is among your highest priorities to be addressed. Since the beginning of the 2021-22 school year, our district has struggled to fill approximately 85 vacancies--currently, 49 teacher positions and 36 support staff positions. This is a problem further exacerbated by a lack of available substitutes. These shortages result in over-crowded classrooms, over-worked educators, and limited access to much needed learning support. In a year when we are depending upon educators to close gaps created by disruptions to learning during the pandemic, it will be our students who suffer most as a result of these vacancies.

We are fortunate to have many excellent and dedicated teachers in here in Citrus County, but they are stretched thin and need help. There are things that can be done to attract and retain educators and to ensure our neighborhood public schools continue to be a point of pride for Citrus County. I am hopeful that you will have the opportunity to support these solutions in the weeks ahead:

1. Fund public education in a way that helps us retain the highly qualified and experienced educators and staff needed to support learning.

2. Encourage qualified, experienced teachers to build careers in public education with the opportunity to enter into long-term contracts.

3. Prioritize teacher-led assessments and learning over high-stakes, state-mandated standardized tests.

Citrus County is certainly not the only district facing serious staffing shortages. That is why I believe solutions must begin with our legislators in Tallahassee. I look forward to thanking you for your support!

 

Collective Bargaining is Our Super Power!

CCEA is the designated collective bargaining agent for all Citrus County Instructional, Classified Support and Professional Technical employees in Citrus Schools. Together we negotiate with the District for YOUR wages, hours and working conditions. Together we are stronger!

Negotiations for the 2021-22 contract year have been extremely productive and we will be moving tentative agreements to a ratification vote in the month of November. Every instructional staff member and every classified and professional technical support employee will be able to weigh in on the proposed changes and improvements to the contract, so take a moment to review the Tentative Agreements carefully...

Click here to review this year's tentative agreements!


Your working conditions ARE student learning conditions. That's #WhyWeUnion

Click here to join CCEA and help us advocate for our students, our schools, and our profession! 

Join CCEA during our Fall Membership Campaign and you'll receive a $50 new member rebate!

Throughout CCEA's Labor History Week (8/30-9/5), we posted a daily trivia question. Each correct answer was an entry into our Labor Day Prize Giveaway raffle. Prize winners are: Donald Whitaker, Brian Sullivan, and Jennifer Clark!  E-gift cards are on their way!!!

 

 

Bonus Questions Not Yet Answered

As you know, the state budget that was recently passed includes an allocation of around $215 million, to provide full-time classroom teachers and principals with a $1,000 bonus, using funds from the American Relief Plan.

More recently, as details regarding the distribution of bonuses began to emerge, larger questions loom regarding whether the bonuses - now identified as 'relief payments' - will be paid.

For too many of our colleagues, a ‘thanks for a job well-done’ bonus after the stress and uncertainty of working through the pandemic may not materialize at all. As was true with Best and Brightest bonuses, the non-classroom teachers (school counselors, psychologists, media specialists, etc.) and our essential support staff will not qualify for these bonuses from the state.

CCEA brought the topic of bonuses to the bargaining table in April hoping to secure an early commitment from the District to provide matching bonuses for instructional and support personnel left out of the state bonus. We know that every employee working in Citrus schools through the past year helped to ensure our students were safe and that learning continued. It is our position that as federal COVID relief funds make their way into the District, nonrecurring dollars will be available to cover the cost of one-time bonuses. We await a response from the District.

Beyond knowing who will be receiving bonuses and when, we know that you have questions about these bonuses. It remains unclear whether bonuses will be paid to individuals who retired or separated from employment during or after the 2020-21 school year. It is also not yet known whether bonus checks will be issued directly from the state, or if the District will be tasked with distribution of funds. What we know is true of bonuses (generally speaking):

  • Bonuses are taxable at a higher rate than regular income.
  • The recipient will be responsible for taxes on the bonus.
  • Bonuses do NOT count toward retirement under FRS. 

We encourage you to follow the progress of negotiations online and look for additional updates from CCEA in the weeks ahead.

RESOURCES:

CCEA and District bargaining sessions are livestreamed through the Citrus Schools’ YouTube channel and recordings of all prior sessions are accessible for review.

FEA has added a list of FAQs on their website. The page will be updated as more information is made available.