Collier County teachers ask district for higher wages

Reporter: Michelle Alvarez
Published: Updated:

Priority one in the Collier County School district: when will the teacher’s contract be settled, and how much will they be paid?

Both sides went back to the bargaining table Tuesday afternoon. The teachers union asked the district for an additional $5,700 to the current base salary.

“Our expectations are teachers need a livable wage. We demand it. It’s going to be something that’s good for our students. It’s good for our district. And we need for our school districts to step up,” said Ken Mouton, president of the Collier County Education Association.

Right now, the average salary for a Collier County teacher is around $69,000, but not everyone makes that.

“There’s $7.4 million paid in salaries of top administrators in this building. These are people who have no direct contact with their children whatsoever,” said Pam Baldwin, vice president of the Collier County Education Association.

The base salary currently starts at $54,000, but the district wants to move it to $57,000.

More recently, the State Department has released the test scores. Collier County outscored the state in 20 out of 21 categories.

But will they get a deal done?

“I hope and pray that we are coming close to that. We would like for this thing to be over as soon as possible,” Mouton said.

Negotiations are still ongoing, and the next meeting will take place on July 18 at 2 p.m. at the Collier County Education Association building.

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