Hillsborough teachers still seeking pay raises as holiday break ends

By Jason Lanning , Reporter
Last Updated: Tuesday, January 09, 2018, 12:37 PM EST

Hillsborough County students returned to school Tuesday and teachers are back as well. 

But without the pay raises they say they are owed. 

The school district's teachers have backed off their hardline stance from a few months ago when they said they would stop work outside of their regular 8-hour day.

But there may still be impacts now that the winter holiday break is over. 

Teachers who were expecting a $4,000 a year raise say they were informed in November that a one-time bonus is the best the district can do, a bonus critics claim would only amount to $92.

The pay raise issue impacts about one-third of Hillsborough County's 14,000 school teachers. 

Teachers threatened to stop working outside of their 8-hour day, meaning they would not respond to after-work emails, would not come in early or stay late and wouldn't grade papers from home. 

The teacher's union is encouraging teachers to stay the course, however, officials said that most of the teachers will not shortchange their students. 

By law, teachers in Florida can not strike. Meanwhile, the district says it does not have the funds to make the raises happen. 

So the union is now asking teachers to push for their raises through social media.

Teachers and representatives will be back at the bargaining table with school district officials later this month. At this point, it appears a third-party arbitrator will be brought in.