South Florida Sun Sentinel | by Scott Travis | September 9, 2020
Broward teachers can expect pay increases this year ranging from about $1,000 to $3,700.
The Broward Teachers Union has reached a tentative agreement with the School Board for raises that use both referendum dollars approved by county voters in 2018 and a new pot of money approved by the state Legislature and Gov. Ron DeSantis to boost the minimum teacher salary to $47,500.
This will be the second year teachers have received referendum supplements. But instead of receiving the same amount as last year, most experienced teachers will get between $500 and $2,700 extra. They’ll also get a 1.3% cost-of-living increase.
The lowest-paid teachers will all be brought up to at least $47,500, but their referendum supplement will drop from $2,500 to only $500. A teacher who earned a $44,500 base salary last year received $47,000 after the supplement. This year that same teacher would make $48,000.
The supplement is considered more like a bonus than a permanent raise because it could go away in 2022, unless county voters agree to renew it.
Broward Teachers Union officials say they wanted to help compensate teachers who didn’t benefit from the minimum salary legislation, so they bargained for them to get more of the referendum money.
“The governor made the commitment to move a small portion of our educators to a higher salary, but he forgot to bring extra allocated funds to move up the experienced teachers,” said Anna Fusco, president of the union. “We now have teachers who will come in making the same salary as those working 10 years or more.”
Teachers have until Wednesday to vote on the proposal. The School Board has a special meeting planned for Thursday. If approved, teachers would get the pay increases, which are retroactive to July 1, on their Sept. 18 paychecks.
Other provisions of the proposal:
A teacher making $45,000 base last year would get the same $2,500 supplement. But when the new minimum teacher salary is factored in, their total pay increases from $47,500 to $50,000.Teachers whose base salary had been just under the $47,500 threshold will get a $3,500 supplement, $1,000 more than last year.
Teachers who have been here since 2011, and who received supplements of $2,300 to $2,500 last year, would get $5,000 this year, in addition to the 1.3% cost-of-living increase.Teachers who got a supplement of $4,500 to $5,000 last year would get one of $6,000 this year, plus the cost-of-living increase.Teachers who received $8,000 supplements last year would get $8,500 this year, plus the cost-of-living increases.
Featured Photo: Broward Teachers Union President Anna Fusco said the Legislature didn’t allocate enough money to compensate experienced teachers. (Carline Jean / South Florida Sun Sentinel)