The Leon Classroom Teachers Association (LCTA) met with Leon County school leaders this week to resume salary negotiations for the current school year and next year.
Negotiations stalled after Governor Ron DeSantis announced a desire to increase the pay of starting teachers to $47,500.
“We had just kind of some concerns given what was put out there by the governor and what the impact would be on us locally,” says LCTA president Scott Mazur. “So we’ve been watching the legislative session, making sure that we’re very deliberate about how we go about this so that we don’t leave anybody behind.”
Mazur says the union wants a raise for all teachers.
“There is a seven-and-a-half-hour day that they’re paid for, but many teachers are putting in nine plus hours as well as some time on weekends to make sure that classrooms are ready to go,” says Mazur, who left his job as a math teacher at Killearn Lakes Elementary to lead the LCTA. “The concern is that we would basically bring everybody that’s been in Leon County Schools for, I don’t know, maybe the last 15 years to the same starting pay as someone who just walked in the door.”
The union also advocates for guidance counselors, media specialists, occupational therapists, and other school personnel.
Knowing that a raise may be limited to beginning teachers – and that any raise may involve shifting funds from existing school services - Mazur says both sides are committed to minimizing any potentially negative impact of legislative action.
School and union negotiators will meet again on February 26th.