School board to teachers on pay negotiations: 'The ball is in your court'

By Jason Lanning , Reporter
Last Updated: Friday, December 08, 2017, 8:36 AM EST

With no further negotiations between the Hillsborough County School Board and the teacher's association set, schools officials are telling teachers the ball is now in their court. 

School board officials said early Friday no set negotiations have been scheduled currently. Officials also said that leaves the next move up to the teachers to come back to the table and attempt to work out some kind of deal. 

  • No further negotiations scheduled right now
  • Teachers claim bonus would amount to $92
  • Teachers were expecting $4,000 per year raise in January
  • District insists funds are not available for the promised raises

Earlier this week, teachers who were expecting a $4,000 a year raise were told that a one-time bonus may be the best the district can do, a bonus that teachers said would only amount to $92.

First grade teacher Cheryl Silva said the situation is making teachers feel "undervalued."

That led to another demonstration outside the Hillsborough County School District this week as teachers said they felt insulted by the offer. 

"I don’t understand," said another teacher. "Seriously don’t understand how you could have created a budget, voted on it and approved it if the salaried raises were not already in there."

But despite threats of not staying late or taking work home, teachers have not threatened to walk out of the classroom. 

In Florida, it’s illegal for public employee unions to entice, threaten or stage walkouts that would impact day-to-day operations. 

The next possible step could be to bring in a mediator to act as a go-between between the teacher's union and school district. The possibility of looking into setting up an outside finance committee to look at the district's budget, also has been mentioned.

Superintendent Jeff Eakins has stated in the past that the budget is leaner because of Hurricane Irma, an influx of students from Puerto Rico and state budget cuts.