Reader questions policy about teachers coming from outside district
The Teachers' Association of St. Lucie County has negotiated a five-year penalty to be imposed on teachers transferring from other school systems. Experienced teachers from other school systems will think twice before moving to St. Lucie County. This decision was not in the best interest of the school system.
I will be the first to say that the teachers have been taken advantage of by the powers to be in not receiving negotiated step increases in pay over the last five years.
During those five years, additional tasks and expectations have been imposed upon all teachers. However, for the Teachers' Association to take its frustration out upon experienced teachers entering the county school system is counter-productive.
An increasing number of St. Lucie County teachers will be leaving the school system because of the low pay status. It will become more difficult to find experienced teachers who are willing to transfer to St. Lucie County because of the imposed five-year penalty. The end result is not good for the St. Lucie County school system. A quality school system is built upon hiring and maintaining experienced teachers in the classroom.
The teachers' associations, parent-teachers' associations, school superintendents' associations and school boards need to come together. The four groups need to evaluate all state legislators as to being friend or foe to public education.
With the November election fast approaching, Florida voters need to know which legislators support public education.
Ray Hofmann, Port St. Lucie
Response from the school board: The following is a tentative agreement reached between the St. Lucie County School Board and the Classroom Teachers Association and the Cleanroom Teacher Association/classified unit regarding a change in salary schedules for the 201-13 school year. The parties agree to implement this agreement prior to the conclusions of negotiations for the 2012-13 school year. In an effort to reduce the discrepancy of salary between current employees and incoming employees for the 2012-13 school year the district and the CTA/CU agree that newly hired employees will be placed on a step equal to experience minus five. This placement will eliminate the experience discrepancy between current employees and those being hired for the 2012-13 school year. These changes will not result in a pay change for any current employee in terms of experience or step. In addition, as we continue to work collaboratively the compensation subcommittee will continue to meet on a regular basis to review financial data and identify additional funds for employee's salaries.