St. Johns County moves closer to higher teacher pay with superintendent’s recommendation

JACKSONVILLE, Fla. — The fight for higher teacher pay continues in St. Johns County.


At a school board meeting, Superintendent Tim Forson said he recommends to the board the recommended decision of the special magistrate with a few adjustments to be worked out by negotiators.

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Nothing was ruled on yet, but teachers said it’s a step in the right direction and are hoping to move forward.

“We work really hard, we take work home, answering kids emails, parent emails, dealing with behavior, lesson plans, grading” teacher Nazli Kayan said.

A district spokesperson said there was an agreement at first in the past, but said it failed during ratification by SJEA members since they couldn’t come to an agreement it led to an impasse and special magistrate.

Superintendent Forson said they’re committed to finding a conclusion.

“I’m recommending the board accept the recommendation of salary compensation with understanding salary schedules may have to be reviewed and possibly adjusted and comply with the law,” he said.

Dozens of teachers and the union packed the school board meeting to make their voices heard.

“Every teacher we have is valuable and we need to keep as many as we can,” one teacher said.

It all comes after a special magistrate sided with the teacher’s union in regards to higher wages.

A district spokesperson said some recommendations are:

  • Pay for performance: increases added to base pay.
  • Highly effective: $2,029
  • Effective and grandfathered: $1,522
  • Increases the associate teacher beginning salary from $35,000 to $36,000.

Several issues were cited by a district attorney, but the teacher’s union president was happy to hear the superintendent’s recommendation to the board.

“I look forward to working with Mr. Vogel, our union negotiator, Ms. Webber, the district negotiation and moving forward on our union’s original salary proposal for pay for performance,” Michelle Dillon with St. Johns Education Association said. “I understand we have work to do on the salary schedule and we will do that work on the placement schedule.”

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Even though the superintendent recommended it to the board, nothing was ruled on so nothing is set in stone. Action News Jax was told a vote could happen within a month.

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