安徽快三开奖预测号码
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Wendy Doromal, president of the Orange teachers union, and Jim Preusser, center, the Orange school district's chief negotiator, review and sign an agreement on teacher raises and benefits on Friday, Nov. 8, 2019.
Wendy Doromal, president of the Orange teachers union, and Jim Preusser, center, the Orange school district's chief negotiator, review and sign an agreement on teacher raises and benefits on Friday, Nov. 8, 2019. (Orlando Sentinel)

The Orange County school district and its teachers union reached a tentative, one-year agreement Friday that offers higher salaries and pushes back health insurance increases until next fall.

The proposal would give most teachers raises of $2,100 or $2,800, depending on their annual reviews, and would keep insurance costs as is until September 2020. At that time, however, those costs could rise, most notably for employees who cover their spouses or children.

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“Do we have a deal?” asked Jim Preusser, the school district’s human resources executive and top negotiator, as the two sides met again Friday afternoon. Preusser had made the new offer in the morning.

“Yes,” said Wendy Doromal, president of the Orange County Classroom Teachers Association, the teachers union. “Thank you so much for this moment."

Members of the union and district bargaining teams then broke into loud applause. The union said it was the highest raise in years and showed “unity pays.”

The proposal now will be voted on by the Orange County School Board on Tuesday and then by the teachers. Teachers could get a retroactive raise, paid in a lump sum, in December.

The offer agreed to was the third the school district has made since teachers overwhelmingly voted down a proposed compensation package in July.

The Orange County teachers union rejected the school district's latest salary proposal Wednesday. The union and the district are bargaining again after teachers voted down an earlier proposal in July. But the two sides have not yet reached an agreement on a plan for raises and employee health insurance costs, among other issues.

The Orange County Classroom Teachers Association, the teachers union, rejected the two other offers because they relied, in its view, too heavily on one-year bonuses or provided pay hikes as part of a two-year deal that could mean no raises next year, and they continued the steep insurance hikes.

“We feel like we got some major concessions from them,” said Albert Davies, a member of the union bargaining team. “We feel like we’ve won a big battle.”

Shari Bobinski, a district spokesman, said school leaders we’re pleased, too. “We’re excited for teachers,” she said, adding the district would move quickly to schedule the needed votes, so teachers could get their back pay quickly.

“We want to make things happen before winter break,” she added.

Doromal began the meeting on Friday by saying, “Let’s get this done.”

Too many teachers, she said, feel overworked and underpaid. “This is a primary reason we have such difficulty in recruiting and in retaining quality teachers.”

She and her bargaining team listened to the district’s new proposal, asked some questions and then moved into a closed-door meeting to discuss it.

The union had wanted raises of $2,400 and $3,000, depending on whether teachers were evaluated as “effective” or “highly effective," and no insurance cost increases.

When the union returned to bargain in the afternoon, leaders indicated they were close but wanted the district to agree that only two Wednesday afternoons a month, time reserved for planning, could be taken up by school or district meetings. The other afternoons had to be free for teachers to plan on their own.

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Preusser said that was acceptable, and a deal was struck.

The new proposal means the district is covering rising health care costs for 10 months by pulling about $29 million from reserves, money it would want to pay back next year. Hopefully, Preusser said, funding from the Florida Legislature in 2020 would do that.

“If the Legislature doesn’t come back with that, we have to find a way to cover that,” he said, so that could mean cuts from other sections of the district budget.

The district’s initial offer, which the union agreed to during the summer, gave raises of $1,625 or $2,025 for most instructors, with those rated “highly effective” — 84 % of the teachers, district figures show — getting the bigger amount. Teachers also were to get a $500 bonus.

Orange County teachers rejected by a nearly four-to-one margin a proposed contract with steep hikes in family health insurance costs that would’ve meant some employees took home less pay than they did last year.

But in a historic vote in July, thousands of upset teachers voted that proposed contract down, saying the raises were too small and for some would be eaten up by steep hikes to health insurance plans. Family coverage for some would go up by $400 a month.

That was the first time Orange teachers had voted down a contract agreed to by their union. After that, the union said it was determined to get a more favorable deal.

The new deal could still include the proposed insurance hikes but employees would not pay them until September, with current options in place until then. And the union could try to negotiate a better deal next year.

At the very least, Davies said, the increases will be known to employees long before they take effect.

Fred Short, a Winter Park High School teacher who attended the end of Friday’s bargaining session, said it seemed a better deal for teachers than what had been proposed previously.

“I’m happy they delayed the increases” in insurance, he said, “and the fact that the money went into salaries instead of bonuses.”

If the school board and the teachers approve the new agreement, teachers would get back pay, from $700 to about $1,100 depending their reviews and the timing, in one of their December paychecks, the district said.

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安徽快三开奖预测号码
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