United School Employees of Pasco
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USEP Back-to-School Bargaining Update
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USEP Back-to-School Bargaining Update

Welcome to another new and exciting school year.  USEP hopes the summer was a time to rest, relax, and enjoy family and friends.  The summer has been busy for the USEP SRP and Instructional Negotiating teams and staff.  USEP has two teams, one for SRP and one for Instructional staff.  Volunteers make up both teams, and, like the last several years, these volunteers have put in countless hours working on your behalf.
The Superintendent and Union had hoped to announce a settlement by the time staff returned, but many variables, such as predicting insurance increases, were only nailed down last week.  USEP is hoping to wrap up negotiations within the next couple of weeks.
Here are a few highlights:

  • Language for Instructional:
    • Evaluations have been pushing the overall agenda for the instructional negotiations again.  Potential changes include informal snapshot visits, change in criteria to allow more teachers to be rated Highly Effective, continuation of Deliberate Practice as a “bonus,” adding Marzano Domains 2, 3, & 4-but not to be counted towards formal evaluation, VAM to be counted only for students taught directly by the teacher.
    • Instructional will earn two additional days of pay at their regular daily rate of pay for attending 2 days of Development/PLC Planning.
  • Language for SRP:
    • USEP is seeking lockable storage spaces for IA’s.
    • FNS, Maintenance, and possibly Transportation Mechanics to pilot Dress Code program that will provide shirts and safety shoes for FNS.
  • Health Insurance:
    • Employees will have the opportunity to have free Heart Health Screenings at locations throughout the district.  Watch for the flier in your mailbox.
    • A new Care Here Health and Wellness center will open in Hudson saving the district money in healthcare costs.
    • 2014 health care options will change with the elimination of the Premium PPO. There will still be a PPO option and a premium HMO that employees can “buy-up,” and an HMO option at no cost to employees. Dependent rates will increase between 4-8 percent.
    • The $150 flex benefit will be eliminated.  Instead employees will be eligible for up to $250 in wellness incentives and will receive at no cost to the employee guaranteed-issue portable life insurance of approximately $85,000.  This is in addition to the $35,000 policy the Board already provides.
  • Economics
    • USEP met with District staff to review and make inquiries into the overall financial condition of the district and requested and received matrices reflecting placement of teachers and SRP on the salary schedule.
    • USEP is seeking salary increases that award proportionate “shares” based upon the years worked in Pasco without step increases.  USEP feels strongly that those employees (SRP & Teachers) who sacrificed salary to balance the District budget and keep services to students intact should be compensated for their loyalty to the district.
    • USEP is awaiting a formal response from the District.  Unfortunately from the comments made over the table, the District seems inclined to take the easy way out by taking the dollars that are available (at least for the teacher unit) and spread them equally—thus disregarding experience, much less loyalty to Pasco!

So how do you feel raises should be distributed: equally regardless of an employee’s Pasco service, or prorated in “shares” that take into account the years an employee has worked and sacrificed during the economic downturn?
Let the Superintendent and school board members know by sending them an email from your personal email account.  Even though technically, there is nothing wrong with communicating this information from your school account, USEP prefers that you send a message from home.  So forward this to your home address, so you’ll have the email addresses you need.  Don’t forget to send a copy to USEP:
Superintendent Kurt S. Browning:
School Board Members
Allen Altman:
Cynthia Armstrong:
Allison Crumbley:
Joanne Hurley:
J. Steve Luikart:
United School Employees of Pasco

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If you are an employee of Pasco County Schools and not already a member of USEP, consider joining today! Members are eligible for a wide range of benefits through our affiliates and benefit partners. USEP also provides members with professional development opportunities and representation for member issues.