Following several weeks of ongoing bargaining discussion, CCEA and CCSD have reached a tentative agreement on the 2020-21 Economic package. The settlement utilizes the state’s Teacher Salary Allocation funds ($2.4million) along with additional Board funds to achieve a $46,000 minimum salary for all instructional staff, while ensuring that every instructional employee receives AT LEAST a $1,500 improvement. CCEA Support will receive .46/hour in addition to the annual step increase which has already been applied. All improvements will be retroactive to July 1st.
The volunteer members of CCEA’s bargaining team have dedicated great time and effort to secure agreements that we hope will serve employees well. The ratification vote is your opportunity to have a voice in your working conditions by weighing in on the negotiated agreements. Please take time to thoroughly review all of the tentative agreements (http://myccea.net/key-documents) prior to ratification.
It is worth noting that neither the $46,000 minimum salary nor the $1,500 guarantee would have been possible without the Board’s additional commitment beyond the state’s TSA funds. The aspirational $47,500 starting salary widely promoted by voices from Tallahassee simply was not adequately funded by the state, nor was the TSA created to ensure fair and equitable distribution to all instructional staff. In fact, many instructional categories were specifically excluded from the vast majority of TSA funds. With additional monies provided by the Board, the parties have been able to ensure all instructional employees will be lifted to a competitive salary level.
Included in the economic settlement is a $10/month increase in the Board’s health insurance contribution. This increase should cover the cost of any premium increase for the employee and thus ensure that negotiated raises will be retained in employee paychecks.
RATIFICATION: To ensure retro checks can be processed ahead of winter break, the bargaining units must complete the ratification process within the next two weeks. The Instructional and Support units will be asked to ratify the economic package along with two key Memorandums of Understanding which support unique working conditions for the 2020-21 school year. A summary of the agreements is attached.
The ratification vote will be conducted at each worksite on November 16 & 17. All instructional and CCEA support employees are eligible to participate in the ratification vote, regardless of their membership status with CCEA. Citrus Virtual Program teachers who work remotely will be able to vote at their home school.
An informational Virtual Townhall will be held on Friday, November 13th @ 5:30pm. (https://floridaea.zoom.us/j/93286541578) Please forward any questions you may have in advance so that we can ensure they are addressed.
If you have any questions or concerns about ratification, please check in with your CCEA Worksite Leader.
Frequently Asked Questions:
Q: When will retro pay be distributed?
A: The tentative agreements must first be ratified by the bargaining units as well as the Citrus County School Board. This process typically takes two weeks to complete. It is expected that retro pay will likely be distributed ahead of winter break if all goes smoothly with ratification.
Q: What if an employee has separated from the district since the July 1, 2020?
A: An employee who has resigned their position prior to ratification does NOT qualify for retro pay. Employees who have retired since July 1 will receive retro pay for the days worked.
Q: If I'm a teacher who qualifies for the $1500 increase, but I work more than the regular teacher contract days (196), will I only receive $1500?
A: No. The amount of your raise will be based on an equalized adjustment to your daily rate of pay (base salary only). Your salary will be recalculated based on the new daily rate multipled by the actual number of contract days.
Q: Is the $1500 a one-time bonus?
A: No. All adjustments are improvements to your base salary.
Q: I'm not a member of CCEA. Do I get to participate in contract ratification?
A: Yes. All employees in the Instructional and CCEA Support Units are eligible to vote as part of our collective bargaining process, even if they are not currently members of the association. We encourage you to consider joining CCEA and help us protect our right to collective bargaining.
Q: Is it true that the settlement represents the same offer that the District first presented to CCEA in September? And if so, why did it take so long to reach a settlement?
A: No. The settlement reflects an improvement to the instructional economic offer that essentially DOUBLES the dollars initially offered by the District in September. Our economic negotiations began in earnest in mid-September following the release of the District's annual financial report for 2019-20. CCEA and CCSD bargaining teams met regularly outside of regular work hours -- weekly, and sometimes multiple evenings in a week -- to discuss who would be eligible for TSA dollars, determine actual TSA dollars available and limitations on distribution, and to clarify concerns regarding the reporting of TSA plans to the FLDOE.
The District's opening offer placed ONLY the TSA funds on the table for discussion. This proposal would have brought the minimum salary to just $43,455 and only a 1.1% increase for all others in the unit. It may have also resulted in a separate salary schedule for non-classroom instructional staff who were excluded by the state from the majority of the TSA. CCEA was uncomfortable separating the TSA funds conversation from the rest of the economic discussion and insisted that the District bring to the table additional local dollars (which were known to be available based on the annual financial report). Through subsequent weeks of discussion and problem solving, CCEA and CCSD improved upon the economic package to get to a settlement by the end of October. During that time, CCEA solicited input from the bargaining unit through an online survey as well as through an open-invitation virtual townhall meeting. The time and effort required to reach settlement was necessary to ensure that we had done the best we could for all employees in the unit.
For perspective, a year ago CCEA and CCSD reached a final economic settlement on October 31st and ratified the agreements in early November.
Q: What happens if the unit(s) do not ratify --ie, vote down-- the tentative agreements?
A: In the event that one or both bargaining units fail to ratify the tentative agreements, the bargaining teams will return to negotiations.