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Tuesday, Aug 14, 2018
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Pasco County School Board approves raises for all employees

It happened so quickly we almost forgot to mention it.

Without comment, the Pasco County School Board on Tuesday unanimously ratified contracts for teachers and school-related personnel, and then okayed funds to improve the pay of employees who aren't in a collective bargaining unit.

The actions, totaling about $11 million in added salaries, come just days after United School Employees of Pasco members overwhelmingly voted in favor of the deals.

The sides reached an agreement in December, months earlier than in the previous school year, when they could not agree on terms and the union declared impasse in the talks.

Among the key points in this year's contract, the district agreed to dip into its reserves to give bonuses to teachers who did not qualify for a state Best and Brightest award because of technicalities in the law.

The agreements provide teachers a 0.75 percent raise, divided evenly between a cost-of-living boost and an increase to the salary schedule. School-related personnel would get a 2.25 percent raise.

Both groups also receive an added $142 toward their district-paid health insurance. Non-bargaining employees will get similar increases.

The raises are not as high as the USEP had hoped for. But its leaders acknowledged that unanticipated district expenses, including those related to Hurricane Irma, limited their options.

Anticipating passage, the administration already had begun processing the added pay. Assistant superintendent Kevin Shibley said employees should see their raises starting with their Feb. 23 paychecks.

Their back pay from July 1 should be in the March 23 checks, Shibley said, and the Best and Brightest funds in the March 30 checks.

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