The OCEA Bargaining Teams and the SDOC Bargaining Team met on May 18, 2023 to continue negotiations for the Cost of Living Adjustment and additional proposals. OCEA believes these initiatives are essential to improving the lives of our Osceola County educators.
Our Education Staff Professionals (ESPs) responded tonight to the district’s April salary schedule proposal. We recommended $0.30/hr increases to help eliminate the compression which arose from the $15/hr adjustment this year. This incentive will help boost morale and maintain our vital workforce. We are hopeful SDOC will respond favorably.
Unfortunately, our Instructional Team was disappointed that we were not able to agree to any proposals tonight. 11 of our proposals from previous meetings were rejected by district leadership without a genuine counterproposal. SDOC brought forward our annual Flex Day MOU, and we asked for protections to safe-guard against Hurricane Day loss. Additionally, OCEA added two more proposals: to increase inservice pay to $140/day and to have SDOC cover the district’s share of taxes for the Civics Seal of Excellence Endorsement.
SDOC did come forward with a salary increase proposal for the 2023-2024 school year. This proposal was based entirely on performance pay with no Cost of Living Adjustment.
The proposal is as follows:
0-12 Years of Experience
13 Years and Up of Experience
OCEA did not accept this offer because it is not a cost of living adjustment for all employees and it does not adequately address wage compression of veteran teachers. We believe the educators who have served Osceola families faithfully for 13+ years deserve more than an extra $100. We will be creating a counter proposal to address the needs of our Osceola Instructional Staff in our next meeting.
Additionally, both the ESP and Instructional Teams are disappointed that the district has not made any compromises on their insurance proposal. SDOC wants to significantly raise premiums on the “Advantage Plus Plan.” Because we understand that management has a responsibility to adequately fund our insurance plans, OCEA has given multiple counter proposals. However, the district has firmly refused to adjust their original plan. We believe these increases are not necessary and unfairly burden 40% of our employee population.
Our union is a strong force in Osceola County because our members are numerous, engaged, and vocal. We will continue to protect our contract and compensation rights and appreciate all of your support in doing so. Onwards!