Collier County Teachers Union meets in hopes of making a deal for better wages

Reporter: Amy Galo Writer: Paul Dolan
Published: Updated:

Teachers walked into a meeting hoping to strike a deal for better wages in Collier County. The teachers are saying how much it costs to live in Collier County does not match how much they are getting paid.

The Collier County Teachers Union is preparing to make a counter-proposal to the district. They say Collier County school’s proposed 10% salary increase is a lie.

Last week, the school district proposed a 10% salary increase for teachers, with chunks varying per salary level, seniority, and position. The plan also proposes an increase from 10 years to 18 years for experience credit, and it would change the starting salary for teachers.

But the Collier Teachers Union says it’s not really a 10% increase offer. They said very few people would get the full 10% while others would get as little as 5%.

Wednesday night, the union presented a counter-offer of their own: an equal $5,000 salary increase across the board, plus case-by-case increases for teachers who reach different “steps.”

“Let’s say, a step forward is a bachelor’s is $1320, if you have a master’s degree is $1500. That’s all we’re asking for,” said Ken Mouton, president of the Collier County Education Association. “There’s no statute that says you can’t give us our step until we get our vam scores.”

Vam scores are the state’s way of measuring a teacher’s effectiveness, but they take months to come in.

If students’ test scores are high, teachers say that should be more than enough to warrant a raise.

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