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"The disrespect": Still no decision made on teacher pay in Collier County

Teachers union and school district are working on a new contract
Posted at 7:55 AM, Jul 10, 2024

NAPLES, Fla. — Teacher salaries in Collier County start at $54,000. Now three new base pay plans are on the table for the district and teacher's union to negotiate.

"The disrespect": Still no decision made on teacher pay in Collier County

Educators at Tuesday night's bargaining meeting say the offers are too low with the rising cost of living in Collier County. FOX 4 has been reporting on the negotiations up to this point.

The Education Association president Ken Mouton says the district has a saved $122 million dollars and they could use some of it to bump up teacher pay.

"The disrespect is being reflected in the salaries that they have been paying us for the last 20 to 30 years," he said.

The district would not interview directly, but did say in the meeting, they're willing to push further conversation until July 18. An agreement may or may not be reached on that day.

Steve Sullivan is the second vice of Collier County's Education Association. He is also a high school teacher in the district. He says he wants to see a plan adopted that gives a pay bump to new teachers and those who have been in the district for many years.

"Last year the district's bargaining team told us that they want to have an increased raise every year, but they can't do it all at once. They have to do it incrementally and we would like to see the district stick to that," Sullivan said.

Many of the teachers at the bargaining meeting say the base pay raises of a few thousand dollars sound nice in theory but divided up would only bring in a few hundred dollars each paycheck.

During the meeting, a few educators reported working several jobs to be able to afford being a teacher.