First day of Brevard teacher contract talks fizzles with no agreements

Unions

Florida Today | by Eric Rogers | July 17, 2020

The first day at the bargaining table fizzled with no agreements and little progress toward the 2020-21 Brevard County teacher contracts. 

After two 60-minute sessions, bargaining teams from Brevard Public Schools and the Brevard Federation of Teachers union left the table empty-handed Thursday as district leaders said they needed time to review the union’s proposals.

Union leaders are demanding additional safety and leave provisions as they prepare to return to the classroom amid the COVID-19 pandemic, including:

  • Expanded family and medical leave if federal emergency paid leave provisions, guaranteed by the Families First Coronavirus Relief Act, expire before the end of the school year
  • Guaranteed illness/injury-in-the-line of duty leave if a teacher is required to quarantine due to COVID-19
  • Students and staff will be expected to wear masks in any situation requiring less than six feet of social distancing
  • Teachers at high-risk of the virus or who live with a high-risk family member shall not be required to supervise students in any situation requiring less than six feet of social distancing and more than 10 students
  • The district will establish protocols for anonymously reporting dangerous conditions
  • Union Vice President Vanessa Skipper said she was “disappointed” with the outcome.
  • “They weren’t able to respond to any of our proposals,” Skipper said. “It almost appeared their hands were tied and they really didn’t have power to make decisions.”
Bargaining teams from Brevard Public Schools and the Brevard Federation of Teachers met Thursday in a live-streamed session to begin talks for the 2020-21 teacher contracts. CONTRIBUTED SCREEN CAPTURE FROM THE BTF.