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Collier County teachers and School District negotiate pay raise

Katie Jones

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Collier County teachers and School District negotiate pay raise

CREATED Sep. 20, 2013

COLLIER COUNTY, Fla.- The Collier County School District and teacher's union agreed on a 7.2 percent wage increase.

This, after wages had been put on a hiring freeze early last year due to an apparent 15 million dollar deficit.

"It was a devastating blow an absolutely devastating blow to see a county as wealthy as this to make the decision they made." Collier County Education Association Executive Director Jonathan Tuttle said.
Wages were brought up again in July but shot down by the school board. Instead, the board voted on a one time one percent bonus which union leaders said wasn't good enough.
" A kid's education starts with a teacher that's where it all happens when you de-moralize teachers to that degree it is going to have a negative impact on the kids." Tuttle said.
Thursday night, both parties agreed to a 7.2 percent increase which averages out to $3,500 a year. Using district funds combined with money awarded from the state, Collier Schools Superintendent Dr. Kamela Patton said the district was stable enough to raise salaries.
"Now we are fixed and poised that we can actually do this re-occurring." Dr. Patton said.
The School Board will vote on the raises next month and they could take effect by Christmas.