PANAMA CITY, Fla. (WMBB) — Contract negotiations between the Association of Bay County Educators and Bay District Schools are almost entirely stalled.
Teachers said the district recently gave them a take-it-or-leave-it ultimatum and the teachers union is not ready to throw in the towel.
Subjects like, salaries for experienced teachers have become the main subject. Currently, the union is asking for 7 million in compensation for raises. The district countered with 2.6 million. Both parties are hoping to at least meet somewhere in the middle.
“So the big sticking point right now is how much money the lower-end teachers should receive out of the pot of money versus those at the higher end,” Bay District Schools Director of Communications, Sharon Michalik said. “So that’s kind of where the district and the union are with different ideas.”
Michalik said along with salary negotiations, many other proposals are made.
“We’d like to be finished, but where we are in the process is also not unlike any other year,” Michaliks said. “It’s what’s called the full book, which means we’re looking at the whole contract, not just isolated language.”
The Association of Bay County Educators has agreed to some proposals but countered many others, and they claim the district recently gave them a take-it-or-leave-it ultimatum.
Alexis Underwood Co-Chair of the ABCE bargaining team said the ultimatum is something she’s never seen before.
“We’ve analyzed the budget, too,” Underwood said. “All of the budget documents and there are several that are mandated by the state.”
Underwood said they will not settle on the current offer for experienced teachers. She said BDS should reconsider negotiating or they risk losing some experienced teachers.
“Unless they can show experienced veterans, the veteran teachers of Bay County, that they matter too, and they show us the money, then veteran educators are going to continue to exit Bay District Schools at a rate much higher than those in the two to 17-year bracket,” Underwood said.
The next negotiating session is scheduled for November 15th.