Manatee school district reaches tentative agreement with teachers’ union

After reaching a tentative agreement with the School District of Manatee County, the teachers’ union — Manatee Education Association — will now contact teachers and paraprofessionals for a ratification vote.

The tentative agreement affects only portions of the collective bargaining agreement, specifically when it comes to salaries and longevity payments for teachers and paraprofessional in the 2018-2019 school year. The schedule adjustments are retroactive to July 1, 2018, according to a news release from the school district.

“All other provisions of the 2017-2020 Collective Bargaining Agreements remain unchanged,” the release states.

Teacher schedules:

  • A movement of three levels for teachers on the grandfathered salary schedule.
  • A movement of three levels for teachers rated highly effective on the performance schedule.
  • A movement of two levels for teachers rated effective on the performance schedule.

Each schedule, including pay grades and the associated levels, are available on the district’s website,, under the “Careers” tab.

According to Manatee’s release, the paraprofessional schedules include:

  • Two steps on the salary schedule for all eligible paraprofessionals.
  • The equivalent of a two-step increase for paraprofessionals at the stop of the salary schedule.

When it comes to health insurance for teachers and paraprofessionals, there was no change to premiums or benefits, the release said.

As of June 30, 2018, teachers with at least 16 years of experience will receive $2,100. Those who completed 25 years will receive $3,600, and both longevity payments are for teachers who worked at least 99 days in the previous work year.

“Both sides worked hard to find common ground to reach this agreement,” said Pat Barber, the union president, in a prepared statement. “The fact that this agreement will be retroactive to July 1, 2018, is an important factor to our members.”

Now, the district must come to an agreement with the American Federation of State, County and Municipal Employees, which represents bus drivers, custodians, cafeteria workers and other district employees.

Superintendent Cynthia Saunders commended both negotiating teams for the tentative agreement between MEA and Manatee schools.

“I think it reflects a spirit of collaboration and it is a sign that we continue to move forward together,” Saunders said in a prepared statement. “We want to support all of our employees and this is an important way to show our gratitude to our teachers and paraprofessionals for all of their hard work and accomplishments.”