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Osceola County School Board and OCEA Reach Tentative Approval On Salaries and Benefits For Professional Support Staff Employees For The 2019-2020 School Year

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Released By Osceola School District

The Osceola County School Board and Superintendent Dr. Debra Pace recognize Osceola teachers and educational support professionals for their time and talents in inspiring students each and every day. The Osceola Classroom Education Association (OCEA) has tentatively approved the School Board’s offer for salaries and benefits for professional support staff employees for the 2019-2020 school year, which include the following highlights:

Professional Support Employees:

· Thirty (30) cents per hour salary increase to the base rate of pay per professional support staff employee for the 2019-2020 school year;

At the conclusion of the 2019 Florida Legislative Session, if the final Florida Education Finance Program (FEFP) Conference Report results in the School District of Osceola County, Florida, receiving unrestricted, non-categorical funds greater than those proposed in the Governor’s State Budget, then both parties agree to re-open salary negotiations for the 2019-2020 school year.

· Design changes to the district’s major medical Health Insurance Plan that ensure the Health Benefits Trust Fund remains fiscally solvent and that it continues to provide employees with health insurance coverage options, including a no-cost option for the individual employee.  Employees who participate in the district’s new wellness incentive program will see no increase in premiums;

· Flexible Spending Account Match, where the School Board shall match the employee’s FSA savings of $750 or more with a contribution of $250 in order to assist the employee toward the employee’s deductible;

· Increase in the base per employee Board contribution for health insurance benefits from $6,398 to $6,826 for the 2019-2020 Health Insurance Benefits Plan year; and

· Continued commitment to the Osceola County School District’s Center for Employee Health.

OCEA ratification of the professional support staff contract will take place in May, and the agreement will then be brought to the School Board for approval.  As the Osceola County School Board and OCEA have not yet reached an agreement for instructional personnel, representatives will return to the table to continue bargaining for teachers.

“Before entering salary negotiations this year, my fellow School Board Members and I charged the Superintendent to find millions of dollars in operational savings that could be directed to increased compensation for our hard-working teachers and employees in the coming year without negatively impacting student learning,” said School Board Chairman Clarence Thacker. “Even when difficult budgeting decisions were being considered, we have remained resolute in our determination to direct more dollars toward salaries in order to recognize and reward our employees’ dedication and commitment to serving our students with excellence. I am pleased that we have been able to reach agreement with OCEA before this school year ends for our professional support staff employees and, hopefully soon for teachers, so that the additional dollars can be in our employees’ pockets at the start of the next school year.”