From the President
Dear USEP Member,
Welcome back! I hope you had a restful summer.
As your new President, I have been working hard to establish an atmosphere of collaboration with the District. I have had several meetings with the Superintendent, School Board members and various District staff to try to establish a working relationship. It is my goal to put Pasco first in priorities as we move forward. Everyone needs to work together if we are going to give our students a world class education.
We at USEP have been working diligently all summer on your behalf. Due to Legislative decisions, this appears to be a challenging year financially, however, we have been trying to work through this year’s negotiation process, dealing with the transfer & reassignment language from last year’s impasse, District based assessments, and putting some new programs of our own in place.
As we look at the budget, we will monitor and assess the financial situation to see what is available to bargain. This year, through HB 7069, instructional personnel who scored Highly Effective or Effective on last year’s summative evaluation qualify for salary bonuses. We will be looking to see how the remaining employees can be helped financially as well.
You are our voice at your worksite. We need every member to take a stand for Public Education, especially now that we are under this most sever attack from Tallahassee. Let your voice be heard; in an email or letter to your Legislator, a letter to the editor, or visit your local Legislative Delegate in their home office to “tell your story”. We also have partners with our affiliates: NEA, AFT, FEA and AFL-CIO. Through collective efforts, we have a large voice to advocate for our profession.
Thank you for what you do for our students and our profession. If I can be of help to you, please let me know. HAVE A GREAT YEAR!
CONTRACT BARGAINING FOR 2017-2018
Welcome back to all returning teachers and SRP! We trust you all had an enjoyable and restful summer break!
USEP’s Instructional and SRP Bargaining teams have been busy over this summer trying to craft new contracts for this school year. As you will recall, the Union and District went to Impasse last year which resulted in an increased settlement of 3.0% for all employees but took until mid-April to finalize. The parties would prefer to avoid this late settlement again this year and have been actively meeting to attempt an earlier settlement.
Hopefully you have all been reading about the Florida Legislature’s 2017 session and the new House Bill 7069 which will have a significant negative impact on the public school system. Specifically and most importantly, this new law has mandated how teachers will receive pay increases, which are actually “bonuses” that will not be credited to the FRS and therefore will not improve any teacher’s retirement benefits. This is a drastic change in how teachers are compensated and is clearly an attack on the public school system in Florida. According to this new law, teachers will receive these bonuses based entirely on their performance evaluations for the 2016-2017 school year. A teacher rated “Highly Effective” will receive a $1,200 bonus and teachers rated “Effective” will receive up to $800. This may mean effective rated teachers will receive whatever money is left over after compensating the Highly Effective teachers and that could mean considerably less than $800.
In terms of the major issues being addressed in our local contract negotiations, the Teacher Evaluation memorandum that ran for the past 2 school years is now up for renewal and significant efforts by a dedicated USEP/District workgroup has been underway. The process may look considerably different than the past but this is still a ways off before being finalized. However, due to the serious nature of any significant changes to this process (bonuses now attached), it is, unfortunately too early to state how this process will look this year. It is possible that we will agree to extend the current MOU one more year to allow more time to adequately and effectively modify the process to ensure fairness to all teachers.