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Teachers could see raises by December

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Updated: 11/01/2013 8:01 pm
JACKSONVILLE, Fla. -- Duval Teachers United and the school district have reached a tentative agreement on pay raises. School officials spent hours at the bargaining table today before they reached the deal.

Its been about two months of back and forth of negotiating teacher pay raises in Duval County.

"From the beginning since we learned that these monies would be earmarked, management and union worked with a sense of urgency to get this done," said Nikoli Vitti, Duval County School superintendent.

Dr. Vitti said they've basically been at the bargaining table ever since the Legislature approved the money.
Teachers said they grew frustrated waiting.

But this is a deal that Terrie Brady, president of Duval Teachers United, believes is best for school employees.

"It's a total financial package, and everything is tentative though until member of all three units vote and turn their ballots back in," said Brady.

The package includes $700 for clerical and paraprofessional employees. Also, teachers will receive a little more than $2,000.
Additionally, Brady said the district is spending about $10 million total on school employee's health insurance.
The $10 million averages out to about $881 per employee.

Vitti said Duval is one of the only counties that will provides this type of coverage to employees.

"I think teachers recognize that this is a process and we collectively bargain for a reason," said Vitti.

"We believe there's always a way to reach an agreement for our students and for the betterment of our employees," said Brady.

With a tentative agreement done, there's one last step to take.

"We do have to work out our differences and work out the details, we've done that, and now its in the hands of the teachers," said Vitti.

Vitti said teachers received a regular incremental increase in pay called STEP in August for about $1,000-$2,000 and this raise is an added bonus.

School members have until Nov. 12 to vote on the agreement.

Vitti told Action News he hopes the school employees will have their raises before they go on winter break.
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