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Pasco school employees to vote on contract Sept. 26


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LAND O’ LAKES — Pasco County school employees will vote Sept. 26 on proposed contracts that would give them their first raises in six years.

The school board is scheduled to vote on the contracts a few days later, on Oct. 1.

Lynne Webb, president of United School Employees of Pasco, said the union plans a meeting at 5:30 p.m.. Tuesday, Sept. 10, to explain the contracts to teachers and other school workers.

“We are allowing ample time for people to review the language so no one can claim they were rushed into a vote,” Webb told the school board Tuesday.

Negotiators for the union and the district reached tentative contract agreements Aug. 26 that call for all teachers to receive annual raises of at least $580. Veteran teachers would receive more and the longest-serving teachers — those with 27 or more years of experience — would receive $2,440.

Other school employees, such as custodians, bus drivers and cafeteria workers, also would get raises, though the amounts vary.

Because the money for teacher raises is “categorical funding” from the state — meaning it can’t be used for anything else — the district must submit evidence of the contract ratification to Tallahassee before the money will be released, Webb said.

She said the union and the district “are going to see what we can do to get that money released” as soon as possible.

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