What unions do

In AFT President Randi Weingarten’s latest New York Times  column, she describes what it is exactly that unions do. Though unions are the most popular they have been in decades, anti-union sentiment still thrives in red states and across the nation. “Several years ago, The Atlantic ran a story whose headline made even me, a labor leader, scratch my head: ‘Union Membership: Very Sexy,’” Weingarten writes in the column. “The gist was that higher wages, health benefits and job security—all associated with union membership—boost one’s chances of getting married. Belonging to a union doesn’t actually guarantee happily ever after, but it does help working people have a better life in the here and now.” Click through to read the full column.

A torrent of censorship

Nearly 250 years since our country’s founding, some Americans are still attempting to restrict others’ basic freedoms. In Florida and elsewhere, censoring books is part of larger efforts to exert greater control over and undermine education.

MEA Has Members Covered

Don’t be fooled by imitators who offer liability coverage only. Last year alone 17 members faced false allegations of child abuse requiring legal representation for criminal investigations (CPS), for defense of certificate (DOE) as well as for district investigations (OPS).  In the last decade, there have been 0 members requiring liability coverage.

When it comes to coverage MEA along with its affiliates, FEA, AFT and NEA, has members covered in all areas of job related issues including legal, and it’s all included in the price of your dues.

Coverage includes but is not limited to:

  • Allegations of child abuse resulting in criminal charges
  • Ethics charges referred to the Department of Education
  • Questions of competency reflecting on job performance
  • Representation in disputes with school level administration
  • High dollar liability coverage

In addition, members have the benefit of:

  • An outstanding legal team with over 75 years of aggregate experience and a staff of full time attorneys who deal exclusively with members’ legal issues.
  • A network of labor lawyers throughout the state
  • MEA officers and staff to guide members through the process
  • No limitations on fees, hours or nature of the case




2022-2023 Teacher and Para Millage Supplement

August 4, 2022 - Click on the following link to read the Memorandum of Understanding between the Manatee Education Association and the School District of Manatee County regarding what the referendum supplement will be for the 2022-2023 school year. The referendum supplement payment will begin on the August 26, 2022 paycheck.

PDF icon mou_referendum_20222023.pdf

2022-2023 Negotiations

September 1, 2022 - Please be advised, the outcome of the ratification votes on the tentative agreements by the bargaining units is as follows:  

             Paraprofessional Bargaining Unit:   YES

             Teacher Bargaining Unit:                   YES

The vote tallies are as follows: 

                                                                          Yes           No  

Paras                                                                398          20 

Teachers                                                        1579          95

October 7, 2022 - Raises and retro will be paid

October 21, 2022 - EDEP retro will be paid



Teacher and Paraprofessional Ratification Voting  


Tentative Agreements 2022-2023 

Voting will begin at 9:00 a.m. on Monday, August 29, 2022  

and will end at 4:00 p.m. on Thursday, September 1, 2022.  


The ratification votes will take place by electronic ballot 


Voting instructions will be sent by email to each member of the teacher and paraprofessional bargaining units.  The tentative agreements will be posted at your school and below.

PDF icon teacher_ratification_packet_with_schedules_22-23_email.pdf

PDF icon para_ratification_packet_with_schedules_22-23_email.pdf

If ratified

  • raises and retro will be paid on the October 7, 2022 check.
  • EDEP retro will be paid on the October 21, 2022 check. 

If you have any questions, please contact MEA at 747-5091 or via email at association@manateeschools.net

Tentative Agreements Reached

The bargaining teams of the Manatee Education Association and the School District of Manatee County met to negotiate paraprofessional and teacher contracts on Thursday, August 11, 2022.

After negotiating for several hours, the teams were able to reach tentative agreements on the teacher and paraprofessional contracts.

Highlights of the Teacher Tentative Agreements are as follows:

-Base salary increases by 3 levels from $47, 500 to $48,436 (Grandfathered Schedule and Performance Schedules) using the funds provided in the state Teacher Salary Increase Allocation (TSIA) and the District budget

-Cost of Living Adjustment (COLA)* of $150 applied to each level of the salary schedules (*COLA as defined by Florida Statutes 1012.22)

-Teachers on the Grandfathered schedule receive a 4 (four)-level increase; those on the Performance schedule who were rated highly effective receive a 5 (five)-level increase and effective receive 4(four)-level increase

-Longevity will maintain current contract language

-Supplemental/Differential pay will increase across the board by 2% plus supplements added (all information will be included with ratification documents)

-Credit for prior teaching experience will increase from 10 years to 12 years (the process for receiving credit will be sent out once the contract is ratified)

-Masters Supplement increases $300 to $1,500

-Sub Coverage language-$20 per hour when teachers split classes or cover during their planning time; daily pay not to exceed the daily sub rate of $120

-Curriculum Pay (Pay for curriculum and special projects including staff development) increases to $20/hour and is retroactive to August 2, 2022

Highlights of the Paraprofessional Tentative Agreements are as follows:

-1 (One) step movement on the salary schedule for eligible paraprofessionals (those who worked 99 days or more last year)

-2% to paraprofessionals at the top of the schedule

-$1.00 per hour increase applied to each step of the salary schedule for all paraprofessionals

-The para base salary becomes $15.00 per hour

Teachers and Paraprofessionals

The Memorandum of Understanding (MOU) regarding the referendum supplement (the millage) for the 2022-2023 school year was signed. The referendum supplement for paras will be to $2,358 (an increase of $304), and for teachers the referendum supplement will be $6,591 (an increase of $1,181).

For both contracts all current contract language including health insurance premiums continues until 2023-2024 negotiations.

All salary improvements are retroactive to July 1, 2022.

Next Steps

Salary schedules, and other details including information regarding teacher and paraprofessional voting on ratification of the tentative agreements will be coming out soon.

Then, the School Board will place the agreements on their agenda for ratification.

Many thanks to the MEA and District bargaining teams for their hard work in reaching these tentative agreements on behalf of teachers and paraprofessionals.

Cynthia Saunders, Superintendent

Pat Barber, MEA President

August 5, 2022 - Once again, MEA and management bargaining teams met for a lengthy bargaining session on August 4, 2022. 

Progress continues toward reaching agreement on paraprofessional compensation. Teacher compensation and the complications of complying with all aspects of the teacher pay formula required by new Florida Legislation continues to be a challenge in negotiations; however, progress towards an agreement is being made. Other topics that are still under discussion include sub coverage, supplements, voluntary transfers, pay for curriculum and special projects including staff development, longevity and benefit deductions.

We encourage teachers to read information posted regarding the Statutes governing teacher compensation in order to understand the restrictions placed on negotiating teacher pay in Florida.

The next meeting will be held on Thursday, August 11, 2022.

PDF icon bargaining_080422.pdf

July 26, 2022 - MEA and management bargaining teams met for a lengthy bargaining session on July 25, 2022. 

Management and MEA made progress toward reaching agreement on paraprofessional compensation. We are continuing to discuss all aspects of teacher compensation and complying with the teacher pay formulas required by the new Florida legislation. In addition, discussion continues regarding sub coverage, supplements, voluntary transfers, pay for curriculum and special projects including staff development, longevity and deductions.

The next meeting will be held on Thursday, August 4, 2022.

The minutes will be posted on the MEA website once approved by both bargaining teams.

PDF icon bargaining_072522.pdf

June 30, 2022 - MEA and management bargaining teams met on June 29, 2022. 

MEA provided initial salary proposals on teacher and para compensation and had discussion around the difficulty in structuring teacher pay within the parameters of current Florida statute. In addition, MEA proposed $15/hour minimum pay for paras as well as increasing compensation for paras paid above the minimum. There was discussion around substitute coverage, and management provided information regarding the issue.

The minutes will be posted on the MEA website once approved by both bargaining teams. 

PDF icon bargaining_062922.pdf

June 2, 2022 - MEA and management bargaining teams met for the first bargaining session of the 2022-2023 school year on June 1, 2022. 

Management gave their annual budget presentation. In addition, the following issues were discussed: compensation for both teachers and paraprofessionals, substitute coverage and legislative changes and requirements including changes to employer contributions to the FRS investment plan. There were no proposals exchanged.

There was also a report on supplements including supplements in comparable districts, discussion of any duties that are not yet supplemented that may be needed and modifications of existing supplemental amounts.

Members of the MEA bargaining team include - Pat Barber (MEA), Cory Bernaert (Harvey), Kara Carney (Rogers Garden Bullock), Ben Geiger (Bayshore Elementary), Helen King (Bayshore Elementary), Brian Kirchberg (Braden River High), Rob Lyons (JDC), Melanie Newhall (Kinnan), Bruce Proud (Chief Negotiator), Marlyce Stringer (Tillman), Jon Syre (King), and Dawn Walker (MEA).

District bargaining team members include Tim Bargeron (SSC), Dan Evans (SSC), Wendy Mungillo (SSC), Bill Vogel (Chief Negotiator) and Doug Wagner (SSC).

The next bargaining session will be held June 29, 2022

The minutes will be posted on the MEA website once approved by both bargaining teams.

PDF icon bargaining_060122.pdf