The Osceola County Education Association and the School District of Osceola County have returned to the bargaining table to continue salary and benefits negotiations for instructional and education support professionals.

On April 25, 2024, OCEA proposed a 5% cost of living adjustment for Education Staff Professionals. Understanding that ESP salaries vary widely by job type, OCEA also proposed additional increases for ESP degree holders, computer technicians, ESE paraprofessionals, and paraprofessionals serving as long-term substitutes. The full proposal can be found on the OCEA website.

In contrast, SDOC presented a 4% cost of living adjustment for all Education Support Professionals and a $750 supplement for ESE paraprofessionals only.

Though this position neglects many critical employees and fails to address issues of wage compression, OCEA believes it offers an optimistic start to ESP negotiations! The teams will meet again on May 16, 2024.

Additionally, the instructional bargaining team has met on both April 24 and May 9, 2024, but SDOC still maintains a 3% increase for instructional staff, additional monies for effective and highly effective, and incentives for “eligible classroom teachers” for attendance.  John Boyd, Chief Negotiator for the district, has repeatedly shared that other districts with higher local taxes can provide more for educators. OCEA maintains that this would be counterproductive as most staff live within the county.

The OCEA team listened to the district’s counter proposals. Now SDOC proposes paying all teachers to work one day prior to the school year and the district would get 4 days during pre-planning. The district reduced the ask for 2 days of planning to 1 day of planning.  OCEA has not agreed to any language changes or to any MOUs currently.  This district verbally rejected OCEA’s salary proposal, maternity leave, changes to bereavement leave language, and the payroll slots which would allow for discounts for homeowners and car insurance which are much needed in the economy.

Fortunately, more May bargaining dates are being scheduled, and in a three-hour negotiation session, SDOC finally began to respond to OCEA’s three-year request to increase supplement pay. All other salary and benefits negotiations will continue, including discussions around attendance pay and preplanning dates. Members are encouraged to continue contacting the superintendent, chief negotiator, and school board members to express their opinions on these proposals.