Highlights of both contracts:
- No increase in the hourly rate or salaries for the 2011-2012 school year
- No movement on the salary schedule for the 2011-2012 school year or increase due to anniversary
- No decreases in salary levels for the 2011-2012 school year
- Increase in the supplement paid to high school instructional staff teaching a seventh period class
- Supplements for middle school teachers opting for up to 36 hours of additional planning time
- Two additional days of in-service training for teachers on the new teacher evaluation system
- Two optional additional in-service days for non-instructional employees
“We were able to settle a contract in very difficult times with respect for each other and the good of the district in mind,” said Jim Springfield, Associate Superintendent for Human Resources and Chief Negotiator for the school district. “It was well understood that, due to major cuts in our budget, we were not able to improve employee income at this time.”
Both parties were disappointed that they were unable to offer a salary increase. However, with the current budget situation, there were no funds available for even a cost-of-living increase.
“I would have been happier if we had received our step increases,” said Debbie Etheredge, SJEA President. “Having said that and understanding the difficult financial times that we are going through, I believe that we truly bargained in good faith.”
During the past few years the St. Johns County School District has moved its teacher’s average salary from the bottom quartile in the state to the top quartile.
The contract will be up for a ratification vote before the last day of the school year for employees. Following the vote, the Tentative Agreements will be presented to the School Board for acceptance at their June 14 meeting.
“We may be the first district in the state to settle a contract for the 2011-2012 school year,” noted Mr. Springfield. “Most districts are still negotiating the 2010-2011 school year. This is a testimony to the leadership of Dr. Joyner, Ms. Etheredge and Kim Felder, SJESPA President.”
SJEA is the recognized bargaining agent for the approximately 2,000 instructional personnel in the school district including teachers, media specialists, guidance counselors, deans and psychologists.
SJESPA is the recognized bargaining agent for the approximately 1,500 non-instructional personnel including teacher aides, clerical staff, bus drivers, custodians, maintenance and food service.
The school district administration, which is not represented by an association, will also not receive a raise this year.