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Education

Scott urges Pinellas to settle teacher pay, but it already has

Tribune staff
Published:   |   Updated: October 16, 2013 at 01:32 PM

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Gov. Rick Scott sent a letter to all Florida superintendents Tuesday thanking those 16 among them whom he said have settled with their respective unions on teacher pay raises for this year.

Pasco County is on Scott’s list of districts that have finalized teacher raises, the first in six years.

Hillsborough and Pinellas are on his list of 51 counties that have not yet settled.

However, Pinellas spokeswoman Melanie Marquez Parra said the district actually did settle on teacher raises, which amount to an average increase of 5.6 percent. The school board approved the raises Sept. 24. They will be phased in this month and retroactive to July 1.

The Hillsborough district and union bargaining units have come up with a proposed salary increase for teachers that averages to about 4 percent. District officials say salaries will be finalized soon. In fact, it is on the school board’s agenda for approval during its Tuesday meeting.

Scott urged those among Florida’s 67 districts that have not settled on raises to finalize their agreements quickly, pledging the support of Education Commissioner Pam Stewart to any district that needs support and guidance.

“Florida teachers deserve a salary increase, and they should have the benefit of knowing their new salary level as soon as possible so they can best plan for their futures,” Scott said in a news release.

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