Manatee school workers union ratifies pay raise deal

Manatee school board discussing arming teachers
Manatee school board discussing arming teachers
Published: Jan. 26, 2022 at 3:02 PM EST
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BRADENTON Fla. (WWSB) - Public school workers in Manatee County will be getting bigger paychecks soon, school district officials said Wednesday.

Members of the American Federation of State, County, and Municipal Employees have ratified an agreement with the School District of Manatee County for base salary increases for the 2021-2022 school year, district officials said.

The raises will be retroactive to July 1, 2021. AFSCME includes transportation, food service, custodial, maintenance and other employee groups within the district’s operations division.

A tentative agreement was reached in late December. AFSCME members ratified the agreement Jan 22. The School Board is scheduled to vote on approval of the ratified agreement at its meeting Feb. 8.

The district said highlights of the deal include positive efforts to bring up lower levels of the salary scale to help with filling needed vacancies while increasing wages and a uniform and shoe allowance increase.

Also, all qualified employees will receive advancement on the salary scale as specified in the current AFSCME Contract and $1,000 retention bonus for those who have worked for the district since Jan. 1, 2021, who are still employed.

The total cost estimate of the AFSCME package is $2,211,728 from three different funding sources.

“I want to thank and congratulate everyone involved in reaching and ratifying this agreement,” said Superintendent Cynthia Saunders. “Improving employee compensation for AFSCME employees will help us attract and retain individuals who are critical to the mission and to the success of serving the needs of our students and families.”

Local AFSCME President Deanna Howell agreed. “I think overall we have a great contract and everyone from the administration to the employees demonstrated a lot of passion and commitment in coming to this agreement,” Howell said.

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