United School Employees of Pasco
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USEP Update – Monday, April 19th, 2021
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USEP Update – Monday, April 19th, 2021

  • USEP Position on Teacher Evaluations Being Held Harmless for SPM in 2020-2021

The Commissioner of Education recently signed an Executive Order that provides districts flexibility in a lot of areas due to the impact COVID-19 has had on this past school year. However, one of the things missing from the EO was the fact that teacher evaluations would still be impacted by student test scores for this year. USEP finds it appalling that everyone else would be in essence “held harmless” except teachers. To see the letter that USEP President Don Peace wrote to the Commissioner of Education and the Governor, Ron DeSantis, click on this LINK.

  • USEP Asks for Masks to be Retained through the End of the School Year

    On April 26, the current Executive Order requiring statewide safety measures be put in place will expire. It is expected that Gov. Ron DeSantis will NOT renew that order, thus leaving the mask requirement open to discussion in each district.

    USEP negotiated for ADA accommodated employees be allowed to work remotely this year, either doing MSOL or placed “on loan” to Pasco e-School. Now, due to State requirements for EOC and FSA testing, those employees are being called back into the brick-and-mortar classrooms to administer tests to students, including all MSOL students who take the tests face-to-face.

    USEP feels that we negotiated a very safe MOU with the District which has worked, for the most part, effectively this year. The safety of students and employees has been a prime concern. Now we are adding a completely new population to the brick-and-mortar environment, many of whom selected the on-line platform due to personal health concerns. Why would we remove safety precautions with just 22 school days remaining? The positivity rate in Pasco is around 9% as of Sunday, April 18, and is up slightly since Spring Break. We feel the prudent thing to due is maintain the mask requirement through the end of the school year in an abundance of caution.

    Pinellas, Hillsborough, and Polk all seem to think similarly. It would be a shame to provoke a problem at this late stage of the year.


    As USEP has informed you in previous “LEGISLATIVE UPDATE”, the Florida Legislature is looking to pass 2 bills that specifically impact your ability to join and remain a union member. SB 1014 and SB 835 require:

    • Instructional density of over 50% on Dec. 31
    • Allows PERC to investigate numbers and revoke certifications.
    • Disallows payroll deductions.
    • Targets Education unions only!

    This is a punitive attack on Public Education and education employees. These are rights we have had since the mid-1970’s. We can lose the ability to make decisions on salaries, benefits and working conditions for EVERYONE, not just union members. This will affect all of us if these bills pass. If you are NOT A MEMBER, the free ride is over. No longer will you be able to reap the benefits of USEP’s work. We are the organization, the ONLY organization in Pasco, who stands between the employer and employee.


    Senator Jennifer Bradley 850-487-5005 email –
    Senator Danny Burgess 850-487-5020 email – burgess.danny.web
    Senator George Gainer 850-487-5002 email –
    Senator Travis Hutson 850-487-5007 email –

Talking Points

  • Republicans typically do not want “big government”, so why this bill?
  • This is clearly an attack on Public Education in “The Year of the Teacher.”
  • I do not want my rights to join and remain a union member impacted by state law.
  • I already know Florida is a Right-to-work state
  • I know how I want to spend my money.
  • If this bill is so good, how come police, fire and corrections were “carved out” of it?

Contact Info

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.