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Agreement on 2014-2015 contract changes

March 25, 2015

I am pleased to announce that the PEA and the Polk County School District have come to Tentative Agreement on Salaries, Health Insurance, and several working condition issues. There will be step movement and a raise and there will be retroactive payment. If duly ratified and School Board approved the raises, including retro pay, will be on your April check.  


We are prepping the Agreement for release to you on April 6th and the ratification process will begin at that time. Please understand that the process of getting the information to you takes a little time and we are up against Spring Break, but the Superintendent and I wanted you to have the good news as we prepare to leave for break. Instead of announcing snippets, which just leads to more questions, we want to send you all of the information at one time. We felt Monday, April 6th would be the best date as most of you disconnect for Spring Break. The Ratification Timeline is below. 


As to evaluations and performance pay, we are continuing to work on the Evaluation components and are awaiting legislative changes to testing and accountability that are currently working their way through the FL Senate. We know changes are imminent, for example, the percentage of student learning gains may be significantly reduced. We did not want to sign-off on anything until we know all of the details because this issue is hugely important and we want you to have the best system possible. We will begin bargaining the 15-16 Contract almost immediately and these pieces will be first in the queue. 


Again, please bear with us and look at your email box on Monday, April 6th.

In Solidarity, Marianne  

Ratification Timeline

  • Monday, April 6th, 2015: Tentative Agreement and Salary proposals will be sent to every teacher, paraeducator, and ESP (secretary/clerical) via their address. You will have 10 calendar days to review prior to the opening of voting.

  • Tuesday, April 14th, 2015: Ballots will begin arriving at school and worksites. You will have until April 27th, at 5 pm to return your ballot to the PEA Office. A special courier run will occur on the morning of the 27th.

  • Monday, April 27th, 2015: You must have your ballot to the PEA Office by 5 pm April 27th. The ballot count will begin at that time. The count will occur at the PEA Office at 730 East Davidson St. in Bartow. Observers are welcome to attend.

  • Tuesday, April 28th, 2015: Pending your acceptance of the Tentative Agreements the School Board will take their vote at their April 28th meeting.

  • Thursday, April 30th, 2015: If duly ratified and School Board approved the raises, including retro pay, will be on your April check.  


planning time grievance - we won!

February 6, 2015

PEA filed a class-action grievance regarding the erosion of planning time and the fact the current Collective Bargaining Agreement (CBA) was not being followed throughout the district.


PEA presented evidence that the CBA was being either partially or, in some cases, completely ignored. The district’s hearing officer, in conjunction with Sup’t LeRoy agreed. The result of grievance and the expectation that the contract be honored has been outlined in a memo that Sup’t LeRoy has given the principals in the meeting they attended February 5, 2015.


PEA and the district continue to discuss planning as an ongoing issue and your bargaining team has also taken up this as an issue at the table. 



fea won't appeal SB 850 Lawsuit

Thurs., January 8, 2015

After a series of meetings with Senate President Andy Gardiner, the Florida Education Association (FEA) has decided not to appeal the log-rolling challenge to Senate Bill 850, FEA Vice President Joanne McCall said today.


“We have opened a dialogue with the Senate president on a broad range of issues, including testing, special needs students and other public education concerns of paramount importance to the FEA,” McCall said. “We look forward to working together for the benefit of our children.”


FEA had filed suit last year about the manner in which SB 850 was enacted during the 2014 legislative session. Two pieces of legislation were rejected in committee and then added to an unrelated education bill on the final day of the session. A Leon Circuit Court judge dismissed the lawsuit on procedural grounds without ever hearing the merits of the case.


Today’s actions are not related to another lawsuit FEA has filed in conjunction with other groups and individuals seeking to declare the ever-expanding tax-credit voucher program unconstitutional.