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Battle over teacher salaries underway in Clay County

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Updated: 8/20/2013 8:23 pm
ORANGE PARK, Fla. -- One local teacher's association claims it is being offered small raises while administrators keep more than a million dollars.

Teacher raise negotiations are getting ready to go into their fifth session next week.

Renna Lee Paiva who heads the Clay County Education Association has been a teacher for the past 36 years. She says fellow teachers aren’t getting the pay they deserve.

"This is a completely different beast now. Who goes into a profession with a possibility that you will never progress on the salary scale?" said Paiva.

According to Paiva, the district has $6.1 million for teacher salary increases that should equal to a raise of almost $2,000 per teacher.

But the county's counter offer of $356.43 left many teachers scratching their heads.

"I almost passed out is what I thought about," said Paiva.

According to Paiva, the county is holding out on $1.4 million in money allocated for teacher salaries.

The school board says that's not true. In a statement sent to Action News district spokesperson Gavin Rollins said "That does not accurately reflect the total package or increase of the last proposal. The proposal was two steps on the salary schedule plus $356.40 which equates to a more than 3.3 percent increase for teachers."

For now, it’s back to the drawing board.

"Every year you feel like you're begging for what everybody else has already done. We bought everything else and we're last on the scheme we don't want to be last," said Paiva.

Collective bargaining negotiations will continue next Tuesday at the Professional Development Center in Green Cove Springs starting at 5 p.m.
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