Palm Beach News

Palm Beach County Teachers to Get Two Percent Raise in Tentative Agreement

A tentative agreement between the Palm Beach County school district and the Palm Beach County Classroom Teachers Association means that Palm Beach County teachers are going to get a 2 percent raise. Teachers and the district have been negotiating proposed salary increases for months, but on Wednesday the two sides were able to come to an agreement.

Essentially, first-year teachers in Palm Beach County will be getting $39,500 a year with the agreement — about a $500 raise.

Teachers will then see a $780 to about $1,400 raise a year, depending on experience.

The agreement will have to be approved by the Palm Beach County School Board as well as members of the classroom teachers association.

If approved, the raises will be retroactive to March 2, 2015. Palm Beach County School District’s new superintendent, Robert Avossa, who is slated to take over for departing Wayne Gent on June 12, will be receiving a raise of $325,000 per year, according to a WPTV report published in May.

“Things were a bit tense for a while leading up to the agreement.

On Friday, the district scoffed at the union's proposal, which wanted to have senior teachers getting a bigger raise than newer teachers. 

On Monday, president of the Classroom Teachers Association Kathi Gundlach posted an open letter on the CTA's website, saying that the district was merely looking to cause division, and that they were looking to create a "one-year contract for newer teachers."

"During all other meetings the District continued to offer counter-proposals that made only slight changes in language, most of which would have been detrimental to new teachers," the letter states. "Additionally, the District failed to offer proposals for salary changes or a timeframe for salary increases."

But now with cooler heads seemingly to prevailing, and a tentative agreement has been reached, School Board Chairman Chuck Shaw says he's happy both sides have come to an agreement.

"We are pleased that we were able to find common ground and provide our teachers a modest increase with the limited funds available this school year,” Shaw in a news release. “The School Board is committed to adopting a budget for the upcoming 2015-16 school year that includes a reserve to further improve employee compensation.”

In all, there are about 12,000 public school teachers in Palm Beach County.