MANATEE The county’s teachers will not have to endure pay cuts that are retroactive to the start of this school year, following a school board decision made in executive session Monday.
Instead, a pay cut of 1.75 percent takes effect as of Feb. 16, the date of the board’s impasse hearing with the district’s teachers’ union.
The board decided to change its original decision in order to avoid a legal battle with the Manatee Education Association, the county’s teacher’s union, which had made it clear it planned to fight the retroactive aspect of the pay cut.
“The School Board decided it was not in the best interest of the School District or its employees to become involved in protracted litigation to resolve the legal issues,” district spokesperson Margi Nanney wrote in a statement released Tuesday afternoon.
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The decision means that instead of absorbing a full year of pay cuts in their final 11 paychecks, teachers will absorb a cut that starts Feb. 16. That means what was to be a reduction of about $96 to $154 in each of their last 11 checks will now be a reduction of $44 to $70, depending on their experience.
The board’s decision also means that the district’s health insurance deficit will be reduced at a lesser rate this year and is expected to be $1.5 million by the end of the school year. Under the board’s original decision, the deficit would have been eliminated all together by June.
Schools Supt. Tim McGonegal said Tuesday the decision “eliminates uncertainty for our employees and brings this issue to closure.”