NEW PORT RICHEY, Fla. — Negotiations for teacher pay raises in Pasco County haven’t even hit the bargaining table yet, and United School Employees of Pasco are already pushing back against the plan.
The school district wants to give teachers an 8 - 12 percent raise under the new plan.
It also would save the school district about $15 million a year.
According to the Tampa Bay Times, the savings come from the elimination of 250 teacher positions at middle and high schools.
The remaining teachers would pick-up an additional class per day and then push their planning time to before or after school.
In a video statement posted on YouTube, United School Employees of Pasco President Don Peace said 80 percent of 1,600 union teachers surveyed said they'd rather accept a lower raise than take on additional work.
"Many teachers commented on the impossible task it would be to add 30-35 students to the load they already have,” Peace said. “This would also lend to teachers adding more outside the classroom contract time to their day to complete tasks such as testing, grading and planning for re-teaching."
As the teachers union pushes back, the school board is meeting Tuesday to discuss how and if it will move negotiations forward.
The union has floated the idea of a voter referendum to raise property taxes to help increase teacher pay, but the district, at this point, has shown no support for a referendum.