Brevard teachers reject offer of pay raise

The teacher pay crisis in Brevard County has the union at odds with the superintendent.

On Monday, Dr. Mark Mullins called a news conference, announcing the board offering a raise, but the teachers say that’s not going to fly.

A special magistrate looked at the school district’s budget and suggested a price for performance based raises. The union says that amount is what they’ll accept and not a penny less.

Mullins says the district can provide a raise of $1,100 for top performing teachers.

“I hope it shows our teachers that we haven’t stopped working for them,” Mullins said.

But the union says his proposal is short-changing the teachers. Their spokeswoman says they’re not going to sign a contract unless the raises align with what the judge advised.

“Our number $2,300 for highly effective and $1,700 for effective,” said Vanessa Skipper, VP of the Brevard Federation of Teachers. “The story has changed so many times, it’s hard to keep up, from the case that they brought to the magistrate, to the stories accounting for different pots of money, to the last budget presentation they gave at a school board meeting , where they changed the story yet again.”

More than 600 teachers have left Brevard County in the last three years. The union says this offer is not going to stop good teachers from going elsewhere.

“They’ll go where they can get paid more and where they’re valued more,” Skipper said.

“We are all facing the challenge of a teacher crisis, a shortage, but I trust that the effort to continually bring more consideration to the compensation demonstrates the commitment to our teachers and prospective teachers -- that Brevard is going to continue to work to find ways to bring sustainable salary increases for them,” Mullins said.

The union says their next move might be to appeal to lawmakers in Tallahassee to pressure the school board to do with the judge advised. For now, they are sill at an impasse.