Collier County teachers denied pay raises
Photo: Video by fox4now.com
CREATED Jul. 16, 2013 - UPDATED: Jul. 17, 2013
COLLIER COUNTY, Fla.- Tuesday afternoon,Collier County School Board voted not to give teachers a pay raise.
"We've been patient, we've tried to cooperate and now we are due. We raised our scores up to an 'A' level school district and being told the money isn't available." Teacher Dorothy Lawrence said.
The teachers have been at an impasse over increases since last year when the district put a freeze on scheduled raises. The district said it is facing a 15 million dollar deficit and can't afford to pay more. But, some teachers said the money is there and they've earned it.
"There is no reason they can't give a pay raise to teachers. 1% to teachers is going to be about a million dollars reoccurring." Teacher JB Holmes said.
" It really affects our moral and while we have tried and want to do what's best for all our students, it begins to ware on you as a teacher not being respected." Teacher Dorothy Lawrence said.
Earlier this year the issue went before a special magistrate who ultimately sided with Collier County teachers. But, the district turned down the raises again last week, which then put it in the hands of the school board. Board Chair Barbara Berry said they need to do what is best for the district and right now, raises aren't it.
"If you're dealing with your own money that's one issue but when you're dealing with the public's money and carrying that responsibility then I think you have to be very careful as to how you allocate funds to make sure you don't put the district at risk." Berry said.
The board did vote to give a one time, one percent bonus to all Collier County teachers in good standing with the district.