MANATEE COUNTY – Salary talks continue to be a point of contention between school district officials and members of the teacher’s union.
On Friday, teachers and teachers' aides who are member of the Manatee Education Association voted to reject a contract that would extend through 2013.
“There was something of concern for every individual,” said MEA president Pat Barber.
Payout for sick leave, increases to health insurance and salaries were big concerns for MEA members, Barber added.
School district officials and teachers’ union representatives have been at odds over health insurance and annual salary increases based on experience for the last year. Instead of coming to agreements on the first year of the three-year contract, the district declared an impasse in mid-January. A mediator was involved and a two-day hearing was held. Both MEA and the district rejected the mediator’s recommendations.
In June, the school board imposed some items in favor of the district and others in favor of MEA. Board members’ decisions ended the 2010-2011 contract talks.
However, July 1 started a new fiscal year for the school district. And local educators would prefer to go back to the bargaining table before allowing the three-year contract to go on as is, Barber said.