On October 12th, 2023, the Osceola County Education Association and the School District of Osceola County returned to the bargaining table to continue negotiations for the 2023-2024 school year. Both OCEA and SDOC reaffirmed our commitment to ensuring an ever improving compensation package for educators. This year we aim to address case-specific compensation gaps in order to ensure fair pay in all situations. The main focus of this meeting was aimed at properly compensating employees who take on extra work and responsibilities which are paid through the supplements pay structure.
OCEA proposed an increase to the academic supplements, which include but are not limited to, grade chairs, department chairs, deans, class sponsors etc. OCEA stated that this is a long overdue increase because employees deserve to be compensated for extra work, responsibilities, and commitments made to our students in Osceola County. In particular, there was a protracted conversation regarding the responsibilities of our deans versus the supplement they make. SDOC made a comment that Deans should be willing to work extra hours because they are in a gateway position to administration. In response, OCEA President Janet Moody asked, “Why would we want to abuse those Who want to [grow] and be better?” Your union bargaining team also suggested that it would be proper for SDOC to allocate more extracurricular supplements to each level including elementary, middle, and high school. There is currently not any specified allocation formula for elementary schools.
OCEA also reaffirmed its commitment to defending planning time. We informed SDOC that there are instances of planning time being taken for other reasons and that such contract violations will not be tolerated.
OCEA brought other proposals including a critical need supplement aimed at compensating our teachers in Title I schools as required by state law. We are confident that SDOC will remedy the fact that this supplement is not and has not been paid to this point. A modest amount of $10.00 per paycheck (over 24 checks) was put forward to comply with the law and to be competitive with surrounding districts.
Ultimately, there were no agreements signed, however, SDOC expressed that they will be bringing counter-proposals to the next meeting on November 9th, 2023. OCEA would like to remind our members and the public that the bargaining meetings are public meetings.
Therefore, your attendance would be most welcome and support our collective goal of transparency and being informed. We continue to be optimistic about our working relationship with SDOC and improving the spirit of collaboration which will foster positive results for all SDOC employees and students.