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2017-2018 Negotiations

2017-2018 Salary Schedules

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Results of Voting on Tentative Agreements

December 12, 2017 - Please be advised the outcome of the ratification votes on the tentative agreements by the bargaining units is as follows:

     Paraprofessional Bargaining Unit:      Yes

     Teacher Bargaining Unit:                    Yes


Kara Carney, Chair
Internal Affairs Committee



Teacher and Paraprofessional Ratification Voting


Tentative Agreements 2017-2018

Voting will begin at 7:00 a.m. on Wednesday, December 6, 2017

and will end at 4:00 p.m. on Tuesday, December 12, 2017.


The ratification votes will take place by electronic ballot.


Voting instructions will be sent by email to each member of the teacher and paraprofessional bargaining units.  The tentative agreements will be posted at your school and are posted below.

In addition, teachers and paraprofessionals will have all of the tentative agreements on the respective contracts sent to them electronically.

If you have any questions, please contact MEA at 747-5091 or via email at

The MEA Bargaining Team recommends a "YES" vote on both the teacher and paraprofessional contracts.

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(Bradenton, FL – November 21, 2017) All teachers and returning paraprofessionals will receive a salary enhancement and neither group will see an increase in their health insurance premiums as part of a tentative agreement reached between the Manatee Education Association and the School District of Manatee County. The tentative agreement, which was officially reached on Monday evening, November 20, 2017, must be ratified by teachers and paraprofessionals before being presented to the School Board of Manatee County for approval.

Under the agreement, the salary for a beginning teacher with a bachelor’s degree will move from $38,285 to $39,094 and existing teachers will receive an increase between $1,100 and $1,400 depending upon whether they are on the Grandfather Salary Schedule or the Pay-for-Performance Schedule.  

Highlights of the tentative agreement include:


• The average salary increase is approximately 3%.

• Teachers on the Grandfather Schedule will move up four (4) levels.

• Teachers on the Pay-for-Performance Schedule will move up four (4) levels for Highly Effective, and three (3) levels for Effective.

• Steps 1a and 1b will be removed from the Salary Schedule in order to increase the starting salary of beginning teachers.

• All level steps will increase $200.

• Longevity pay will be awarded to those who qualify.

• The agreement is retroactive to 7/1/17.

• Health Care Benefits and rates will stay at the current level with the exception of Emergency Room Co-Pay, which will be reduced under all plans.

• Teachers participating in the District’s Health Care program will receive a “premium holiday” (no premium deductions) for the month of December, 2017.

Paraprofessionals (Paras)

• The salary schedule will be increased $.15 per hour.

• All Paraprofessionals will move up two (2) levels.

• The average salary increase is 4.2%.

• The agreement is retroactive to 7/1/17.

• Health Care Benefits and rates will remain at the current level with the exception of Emergency Room Co-Pay, which will be reduced under all plans.
• Paraprofessionals participating in the District’s Health Care program will receive a “premium holiday” (no premium deduction) for the month of December, 2017.

“I want to thank all the members of the bargaining teams for their hard work and patience as we worked through this process,” said Pat Barber, MEA president.

Manatee District Deputy Superintendent of Business Services and Operations Ron Ciranna was enthusiastic about the collaboration between the two sides and the results of the process.

“It was a great experience working together to reach this tentative agreement,” Ciranna said. “I want to personally thank Dr. Greene for her leadership and support, as well as our School Board for providing direction for our District’s Negotiation Team.”

November 16, 2017 - The MEA and Management Bargaining teams returned to the table on Wednesday, November 15th.  There were lengthy discussions regarding the issues as well as team caucuses which extended the session late into the evening. Progress was made toward agreement in both contract language and salary for teachers and paraprofessionals. However, no tentative agreements were signed.

Another session was scheduled for Monday, November 20, 2017 at 5:00 p.m.

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The MEA and management bargaining teams met for a day-long session on Thursday, October 19, 2017.

There was progress made on language items related to teacher certification requirements as well as payroll errors, and pay day for teachers and paraprofessionals.

MEA proposed a return to terminal pay language that existed prior to July 1, 2011 for teachers and paraprofessionals due to management’s explanation of the difficulties related to providing an annual accounting of employee sick leave accrual. This proposal was countered by management and the issue is still under discussion.

There was also some progress made in salary discussions as management moved closer to MEA’s proposal for teachers and paraprofessionals.  

There are still differences in MEA and Management salary proposals as far as the number of level/step movements for teachers and paraprofessionals.

The minutes and all proposals are posted below.  

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The MEA and Management collective bargaining teams met on Friday, October 6, 2017 for a full day of bargaining.  Teams moved closer on contract language issues including some tentative agreements on contract language; however, there have been no changes in salary proposals. 

Tentative agreements and notes are posted below.  The next meeting is scheduled for Thursday, October 19, 2017.

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On Wednesday, September 27, 2017, MEA provided contract language counterproposals to management’s proposals from the last bargaining session.  Management provided a salary proposal.  There was a lot of conversation about management’s new payroll system and its impact on the teacher and paraprofessional contracts.  While we haven’t reached any tentative agreements MEA and management continue to work to clarify issues and reach agreement.

All documents and notes are posted below.  The next meeting is scheduled for Friday, October 6, 2017.

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Friday, September 1, 2017 - MEA’s bargaining team met with management’s bargaining team on Wednesday, August 30, 2017.  During the meeting MEA and management exchanged proposals related to various articles in the teacher and paraprofessional contracts.

Management’s proposals focused on changes to various sections of the contact related to specific language, while MEA’s priority was proposing enhancements to the economic status of teachers and paraprofessionals.  There were no agreements reached during this session.

Both parties agreed to review the proposals and return to negotiations on Wednesday, September 13, 2017.  

Bargaining notes 083017

MEA salary proposal 083017

MEA longevity proposal 083017

Management proposals 083017

August 14, 2017 - On Monday afternoon, August 14, 2017, the MEA and Management bargaining teams met for the second bargaining session.  Both teams exchanged lists of contract articles.  The full contracts are open on both the teacher and paraprofessional contracts.  The articles management identified are as follows:

1.  Article IV, Section 5 – Dues deductions.
2.  Article IV, Section 6 – Uniform assessment.
3.  Article V, No. 6 (b) – Working Conditions:  Conference on Record Days
4.  Article V, Section 11 – Highly Qualified Teachers
5.  Article V, Section 23 – Terms and Conditions of MTI (MTC) Contracts
6.  Article V, Section 30 – Item 3 for Juvenile Justice Employees
7.  Article V, Section 30 (d) – Juvenile Justice Employees
8.  Article V, Section 31 – Contract for Guidance Counselors
9.  Article V, Section 35 – Pay for Other Assignments (Non-Contracted Hours)
10.  Article IX, Section 1 – Sick Leave
11.  Article IX, Section 1 – Posting of Vacancies
12.  Article IX, Section 2 – Sick Leave Statement
13.  Article XII – Compensation and Health Insurance
14.  Article XII, Section 6, Subdivision 5 – (Item 1) Term Life Insurance Policy
15.  Article XII, Section 6 – Codification of Salary Guidelines and Fringe Benefits
16.  Article II, Section 6, Subdivision 6 – Teacher Payday:  “Semi-monthly Pay”
17.  Article XII, Section 6, Subdivision 7 – Payroll Errors
18.  Article XII, Section 9 – Curriculum Development and Special Projects
19.  Article XIV – Grievance Procedure
20.  Appendix B, Differentiated Pay Salary Schedule – 2015-2016 Salary Supplement Schedule
21.  Appendix C – Donated Sick Leave Authorization Form

MEA identified the following contract articles: 

1.  Article XII, Appendix A – Teacher Salary:  Adjustments/Level movement/Performance Pay
2.  Paraprofessional Salary – Step movement/Schedule enhancements/Longevity
3.  Article XII, Appendix B – Differentiated Pay/ Salary Supplements
4.  New Teacher Language Article XII – Teacher Longevity Supplements
5.  Article V – Extended workday – L300 and others
6.  Differential Accountability
7.  Article XII, Subdivision 6 – Payroll/ERP
8.  Article XII, Appendix E - Health Insurance Plan Design/Clinic
9.  Appendix XII, Appendix E – Health Insurance Premiums/Clinic

Neither team presented proposed contract language to address these issues at this meeting.  It is anticipated that proposed contract language will be exchanged in future bargaining sessions.

Also discussed was the status of MEA data requests.  Management stated that the bulk of information would be available by the end of the week. 

In addition, there was discussion about the status of proposed Memoranda of Understanding (MOUs).  MOUs under consideration are Professional Learning Wednesdays, Educational Emergency Schools, and Teacher Pay (ERP).

The next bargaining session is scheduled for Wednesday, August 30, 2017 at 4:30 p.m.  

Bargaining notes 081417

August 1, 2017 - The MEA and Management bargaining teams met on Tuesday, August 1st for an introductory bargaining session.  Teams discussed process, sharing of information and scheduled a future meeting date.   Both parties expressed interest in getting an agreement as soon as possible. 

The MEA bargaining team consists of Bruce Proud, Pat Barber, Dawn Walker, Melanie Newhall (Rogers Garden-Bullock), Kara Carney (Rogers Garden-Bullock), Melissa Cohen (King Middle), Helen King (Bayshore Elementary), Brian Kirchberg (Braden River HS), Steve Motkowicz (Horizons), and Jon Syre (King Middle).

Management’s bargaining team consists of Carl Auckerman (Palmetto HS), Sarah Brown (SSC), Ron Ciranna (SSC), Jacob Davis (SSC), James Horner (Abel), Angela Lindsey (Johnson), Rebecca Roberts (SSC) and Lesli Strickland (SSC).

The next bargaining session is scheduled for Monday, August 14, 2017 at 4:30 p.m.

Bargaining notes 080117

Result of Teacher Ratification Vote 2016-2017

* * * * * 

Friday, April 7, 2017



Thank you to everyone who participated in the impasse activities 

and voted.

* * * * * 

Recommendation Regarding the Teacher Ratification Vote

* * * 

The MEA Executive Board and Rep Council have voted unanimously to recommend a 'NO' vote on the items contained in the compilation document (Board imposed provisions and tentative agreements).  

* * *

Notice of Teacher Ratification Voting on Tentative Agreements 2016-2017

Voting will be open at 7:00 am on Friday, April 7, 2017 and will end at 4:00 pm on Thursday, April 13, 2017.


The ratification vote will take place by electronic ballot.


Voting instructions will be sent by email to each member of the teacher bargaining unit.  The compilation documents containing School Board imposed contract language as well as tentative agreements will be posted at your school and HERE.

In addition, teachers will have the compilation documents sent to them electronically.

If you have any questions, please contact MEA at 747-5091 or via email at

Teachers' Well-Being at Stake in School Board Hearing

On Monday, March 27, 2017 at 5:00 pm, the School Board of Manatee County will convene as Legislative Body to hear the positions of the Manatee Education Association (MEA) and the Superintendent as to the question of what the salary and benefits should be for teachers for the 2016-2017 work year.

The hearing comes after months of negotiations between MEA and the Superintendent’s representatives which resulted in tentative agreements which were rejected by teachers. In addition, a Special Magistrate, an independent fact finder, appointed by the Public Employee Relations Commission heard the arguments of both parties and recommended MEA’s position on salary and health insurance when issuing his recommendations for settling the contract dispute.

Now, after meeting with the Superintendent and her representatives through the entire process and reading the recommendations of the Special Magistrate, it becomes incumbent on the School Board to act as a neutral Legislative Body and listen to the positions and rationale for each issue provided by both parties, MEA and the Superintendent’s representatives, giving equal weight to the arguments of both parties.

At stake in this process is the financial well-being of approximately 2,800 teachers who serve the students of Manatee County every day, as well as this community’s ability to attract and retain teachers in the future. Teachers who work in the Manatee County Schools have taken pay cuts and furlough days due to shrinking state funding as well as the mismanagement of the district’s budget by past administrations. While other districts have provided raises and found ways not to cut salaries, our district has not done the same.

In spite of the lack of financial consideration given to them, teachers have continued to give their all to the students they serve. Teachers consistently take up the slack for budget shortfalls by spending their own money (between $100-$4,000 a year) to make sure their students have the materials and supplies needed to get the most benefit out of their time spent at school.

Teachers have continued to remain committed to their students in spite of our Legislature’s and district’s misguided attempts to show accountability by judging both teacher and student performance by the results of a single test each year.

Teachers have given more of their time by working after their work days (most work at least 20 additional hours a week and many work even more) in order to meet the ever increasing demands of a job they came into because they love the work they do.

Manatee County’s teachers continue to meet the ever increasing expectations of the Manatee County School District in spite of the fact that with every year they fall further behind their colleagues in the surrounding counties. Yet, they have remained committed to their students, but question the District’s commitment to them.

On Monday, March 27, 2017 the School Board of Manatee County has a huge responsibility before them. Will they be able to act as an independent Legislative Body and give equal weight to the information presented by both parties? Will they have the ability to act in the best interests of the teachers, the community and the school district regardless of which party presents the most credible information? Can they truly listen and consider all information equally? Can they consider whether or not they have made students and teachers a priority in their budget?

These are the expectations of their positions as School Board members as outlined by Florida Statute, and they should be the expectations of teachers and community members when they consider what service our School Board has provided to their constituents.

Patricia L. Barber, President

Negotiations Impasse Update

March 9, 2017 - MEA and the Superintendent's bargaining teams met as required by Florida Statute to discuss the Special Magistrate's recommendations and attempt to resolve the issues currently at impasse. 

The Superintendent's team made several proposals, none of which provided compensation, retroactive pay or insurance premiums that were improved over the tentative agreement or the Special Magistrate's recommendation. 

The Legislative Body Hearing has been scheduled for Monday, March 27, 2017 at 5:00 p.m. in the School Board meeting room.

To read the minutes from the March 9, 2017 bargaining session click here.

Stay tuned for more information about what you can do as we continue to fight for a fair contract. 

Special Magistrate Recommendations Summary

To read the recommendations in their entirety, click here


FEBRUARY 22, 2017

 On the Resolution of the Issues at Impasse

“Any recommendation made from the Special Magistrate process comes from a consideration of the factors deemed relevant by the Florida legislature. Section 447.405, Florida Statutes sets the standard for rendering the recommended decision as a "just settlement." In School District of Manatee County and Manatee Education Association, SM-2011-091, this Special Magistrate stated: “The overall SM scheme provides latitude within this statutory framework for the Special Magistrate to weigh the significance of statutory factors and then reach a conclusion that reflects a fair and reasonable recommendation of the impasse issues. It is not a gathering of points for winning each factor. Rather it is a consideration of which factor or factors should be decisive when examining the overall issue for these parties.”

Recommendation on the Issue of Salary Schedule Adjustments

“The District makes a good case for not paying any more than it allocated in the TA. But a “just” settlement more so favors MEA’s proposal and is so recommended, including retroactivity, as being favorable for the interest and welfare of the County’s citizens… ”

Recommendation on the Issue of Health Insurance Premiums

“Critical to this impasse is finding a solution that would end the impasse and yet still be a just settlement for both parties, one that fulfills the District’s obligation to make sure its generated resources are not over spent and at the same time is one that remains “adequate” and fair for the teachers. This one issue appears to be the stumbling block to ratification and thus needs to be looked at closely.”

“…the Special Magistrate recommends the Board adopt the MEA proposal as the fair and just settlement for this critical impasse issue, including retroactivity, as being favorable for the interest and welfare of the County’s citizens…”

“In all, sufficient evidence exists in this record to recommend that the District has the means to fund this justifiable increase of $$897,660 in its otherwise total projected cost of $52 million, a number that does not change with this MEA proposal.”

Recommendation on the Issue of the Cost of Living Adjustment (COLA)

“The COLA proposal is not recommended. The preference for funding the MEA proposals must go to the salary adjustments and the employee insurance contributions. Finding the means to pay for those two significant impasse issues should not be exacerbated by adding another $1M.”

Recommendation on the Issue of Longevity

“The primary concern, apart from the withdrawal issue, is with finding room for the much larger impact items for salary adjustment and health insurance premiums, which are foremost.”

It's About Priorities

Wednesday, January 25, 2016

Thanks to all who walked in supporting the special magistrate hearing today. We appreciate the solidarity shown and the pictures sent to us.  That means a lot.

The Manatee Education Association and the School District of Manatee County presented their cases to Special Magistrate Robert Hoffman.  During the hearing the district and MEA presented information to support their positions currently at impasse.  The items currently at impasse are salary adjustments, cost of living adjustment (COLA), longevity, health insurance premiums as well as retroactivity. 

Next Steps

Magistrate Hoffman has requested that briefs be filed 14 days after the transcript is received.  After briefs are filed, the special magistrate has 15 days by law to render his recommendations; however, Magistrate Hoffman assured us that he will issue his recommendation as soon as possible.

Thank you for your continued support!

Impasse Timeline - 3/14/17

Impasse declared in negotiations November 8, 2016

Parties notify PERC that there is an impasse- November 14, 2016 (SM16027)

November 15, 2016 received the list of seven potential Special Magistrates -If the parties do not jointly request the appointment of a specific individual, the Chairman or his designated agent shall furnish the names and biographies of seven individuals listed on the Special Magistrate Roster. Received list of Special Magistrates