St. Johns County School District approves plan for teacher pay increase

ST. JOHNS COUNTY, Fla. — Teachers in St. Johns County are on their way to taking home a bigger paycheck thanks to negotiations between the St. Johns County School District and St. Johns Education Association.

On Tuesday morning the school district voted unanimously to approve a plan that would increase a teacher’s salary.

The teacher’s union and school district agreed to increase the starting salary, which would benefit new full-time teachers.

“Before, our salary schedule started at $39,000 and what’s wonderful is now it will go to $45,535, which is a big increase for new teachers,” Cathy Weber, director for budget and chief negotiator for the St. Johns County School Board, said.

The school district said it’ll help more than 1,200 teachers that are making less than $45,000 a year.

Florida Gov. Ron DeSantis signed a bill to set aside millions for teacher’s raises back in June.

The school district was given nearly $8 million from the state for the salary increase.

“One good thing this bill did do was raise the base salary, so I hope people will see Florida as a more desirable place to begin or continue a teaching career,” Michelle Dillon, President of the St. Johns Education Association, said.

School board members broke down the funding so people could understand how the teachers will be paid.

Teachers who already make $45,000 and up will only get a 2% increase.

Dillon said some teachers who have worked for years are upset that new hires are making about the same salary as veteran teachers.

It could take some time before teachers see their paychecks.

Dillon told Action News Jax that the school board approved the plan, but it still needs to be voted on by the teachers.

“The next step is ratification, where all instructional employees can vote on the tentative salary agreements. Then it comes back to the school board for an official seal of approval and then move forward with funding the raises,” Dillon said.

The school district told Action News Jax once the Department of Education approves the plan and sends over the funding, the county’s teachers will start to see their raises.

“We will get them paid as soon as possible and it will be this year and it’s either going to be sometime in January or February when we’re going to get them paid. It won’t be a long time,” Weber said.