OCEA Bargaining Press Release: September 7, 2023
On September 7, 2023, the Osceola County Education Association and the School District of Osceola County returned to the bargaining table to begin negotiations for the 2023-2024 school year.
Both OCEA and SDOC reaffirmed our commitment to becoming a leading compensation package for educators in Central Florida. Having already secured a 5% Cost of Living Adjustment for all employees, this year we aim to address case-specific compensation gaps in order to ensure fair pay in all situations. This first meeting resulted in the signing of three Tentative Agreements to address educators’ needs:
- VPK Lead Teachers will now receive a $3,000 supplement to compensate their high workload for the next two years. This was paid for out of a grant.
- All instructional employees currently receiving retirement benefits will now receive credit for all their years of experience, including those hired before July 1, 2022. When the two teams negotiated last year it was an oversite that many retired teachers working at the 10 year salary had not been grandfathered in to bring their salaries back to where they had earned at retirement.
- 23 athletic supplements have now received increased compensation to address their increased workload and certificates earned.
Additionally, OCEA and SDOC agreed to form a Supplements Committee within the next 10 business days to address disparities in supplements for arts and academics programs. OCEA members who are interested in giving input on these supplement increases should contact the OCEA office directly.
There were great conversations at the ESP table discussing the equity of workload from school to school for our data entry clerks and records clerks. Some ESPs have been asked to clock out and then they continue to work off the clock to get the work completed. There was also a discussion about the creation on the Tech II positions approved by the board in May and not being posted as vacancies. This is an injustice to the Techs at the school level who keep all the technology needs met, have an extremely high turnover, and the positions are not truly a new salary which needs to be funded, but rather moving techs up a career ladder with a minimal increase in salary.
Vice -President, Emily Gorentz reported, “It really was a different vibe!” and President Janet Moody reported, “I’m excited about the district bringing fresh faces and voices to the table to improve the working conditions for all employees. New individuals on each side will bring fresh perspective and ideas!” OCEA is excited for the progress we have made in this first bargaining meeting, and we look forward to more fruitful collaboration with SDOC’s team this year.