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Some Duval teachers upset at lump-sum supplement from Gov. Rick Scott

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Updated: 12/17/2013 6:56 pm
JACKSONVILLE, Fla. -- Teachers were hailing Florida Gov. Rick Scott after awarding them pay raises this year. But now, some are crying foul at the actual amount they're getting.

The governor allocated $480 million for Florida teachers.

"We were very excited that the governor wanted to increase teachers salaries," said Duval County Schools Superintendent Dr. Nikolai Vitti.

But one local teacher reached out to Action News. She said she is upset because her pay raise was tacked on to her paycheck in one lump sum. And that means it was also taxed that way.

Her figures to Action News show her one-time supplement of $2,090 was taxed 35 percent. Meaning her take home total was $1,358.

Action News took her concerns to Vitti. He said he made the call to pay teachers this way to avoid problems in the future.

"For us $20 million is provided directly to teachers for this bonus. If the legislature decides not to fund it at the same level or not at all, then if we embedded it into the salary schedule we would have to find $20 million in our operating budget to continue that type of commitment," he said.

Action News also sat down with employment attorney Tad Delegal. He said regardless if the money was given in one lump sum or spread out, the taxation would be the same.

"It just is more stark because they are seeing the bottom line and they realize what percentage is taken out," he said.

Vitti said Duval teachers actually faired better than others.

"We negotiated a salary increase of 1.3 percent for all teachers going into this year, 13-14. So we did that in addition to the bonuses," he said.

Delegal said if it turns out too much money was deducted from a teacher in taxes, they will get that money back in their income tax return.
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overit - 12/18/2013 12:27 PM
0 Votes
But if the story had the correct facts, you would feel differently. Teachers are not upset becuase it came as a lump sum. We knew that from day 1! We were always told it was going to be a lump sum. What we are upset about is the fact that the negotiations between DCPS and DTU stated that ONLY 10% would be taken from the supplement. (NOT a bonus) About 3% for our retirement and 7% for FICA. This was NEVER meant to be taxed as a regular paycheck...yet it was. We feel deceived and taken advantage of. That is why people are so upset. And to LO61903..I guess people do like to complain...you're complaining that you haven't gotten a raise in three years. Well guess what, you wouldn't even have a job if it weren't for a teacher. I think it's time we finally show some appreciation for those that help others make a living for themselves.

LO61903 - 12/17/2013 6:28 PM
1 Vote
Some people just like to complain. I haven't had a raise or a bonus for three years, so I wouldn't gripe about getting any kind extra money. It's still more than they had to begin with, plus they're getting it right before Christmas. And like the lawyer said, it's all taxed the same, whether bit by bit, or in a lump sum. The final amount is still the same.
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