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It's About Priorities

Wednesday, January 25, 2016

Thanks to all who walked in supporting the special magistrate hearing today. We appreciate the solidarity shown and the pictures sent to us.  That means a lot.

The Manatee Education Association and the School District of Manatee County presented their cases to Special Magistrate Robert Hoffman.  During the hearing the district and MEA presented information to support their positions currently at impasse.  The items currently at impasse are salary adjustments, cost of living adjustment (COLA), longevity, health insurance premiums as well as retroactivity. 

Next Steps

Magistrate Hoffman has requested that briefs be filed 14 days after the transcript is received.  After briefs are filed, the special magistrate has 15 days by law to render his recommendations; however, Magistrate Hoffman assured us that he will issue his recommendation as soon as possible.

Thank you for your continued support!

Impasse Timeline - 3/14/17

Impasse declared in negotiations November 8, 2016

Parties notify PERC that there is an impasse- November 14, 2016 (SM16027)

November 15, 2016 received the list of seven potential Special Magistrates -If the parties do not jointly request the appointment of a specific individual, the Chairman or his designated agent shall furnish the names and biographies of seven individuals listed on the Special Magistrate Roster. Received list of Special Magistrates

Impasse Declared


The MEA and Management bargaining teams returned to the table on November 8, 2016; however, the district’s proposal consisted of threats of the loss of retroactivity should the tentative agreements (TA) previously rejected by the teachers not be ratified by November 14, 2016.  MEA proposed enhancements in salary and decreases in employee premiums for spouses and families in response to the ratification vote. 

MEA’s proposal included the following:

·        Cost of living adjustment (COLA) of $300 for all bargaining unit employees

Bargaining Update Regarding Next Steps . . .

As you all know, the Para Contract was approved and the Teacher Contract was rejected.

The next step regarding the contract will be to return to negotiations and attempt to resolve the issues that lead to the rejection of the teachers’ tentative agreements. The issues in question relate to health insurance premiums and salary.

Should MEA and management be unable to reach agreement at the table, the parties will be at impasse and the process will be as follows.

·        Mediation by a mediator appointed by the Public Employee Relations Commission (PERC) (both parties must agree to mediation)

·        Special Magistrate, a fact finder who hears both sides and issues a recommendation regarding items at impasse, appointed by PERC. (This happens if one or both parties request a hearing.)

·        Legislative Body hearing is held before the School Board which becomes neutral Legislative body to hear presentations on recommendations by the Magistrate not accepted by either party.

·        Ratification vote by members of the bargaining unit occurs on the decisions of the Board and/or the accepted recommendations of Magistrate.

·        Board action on the items sent to the members of the bargaining unit for ratification. If the items were ratified by the members of the teacher bargaining unit, the Board votes on ratification. If the items are rejected by the members of the bargaining unit, the Board vote will be on whether to impose the contract or not.

In the meantime, it appears that the Board will move forward with ratification and implementation of the Para Contract.

MEA has not been informed by the Superintendent as to what will occur as far as holding open enrollment for Insurance Benefits.

Please stay tuned for future updates.

Thank you for all you do!


Please be advised that the Para contract was ratified and the Teacher Contract was not ratified.

Voting will begin at 7:00 a.m. on Monday, October 24, 2016

and will end at 4:00 p.m. on Friday, October 28, 2016.


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 are posted below.

In addition, teachers and paraprofessionals will have all of the tentative agreements on the respective contracts sent to them electronically.

If you have any questions, please contact MEA at 747-5091 or via email at

PDF icon 16-17_tentative_agreement_-_teachers

PDF icon 16-17_tentative_agreement_-_paraprofessionals

Negotiations update October 4, 2016


On Monday, October 3, 2016, teams from the MEA and the School Board reached tentative agreement on contract re-openers for teachers and paraprofessionals.

Highlights of the agreement include:

For Teachers on the Grandfathered Salary Schedule

  • Eligible teachers on the grandfathered schedule, other than those teachers rated unsatisfactory, shall receive 3 level movement

For Teachers on the Performance Pay Schedule

  • Modifications to the performance pay salary schedule are consistent with the requirements of Florida Statutes. 
  • Eligible teachers rated highly effective will receive 3-level advancement.  Those rated effective will receive 2-level advancement.  Those rated less than effective are not eligible for advancement in accordance with Florida Statutes.


  • In recognition of their long standing commitment to students, teachers with 16 and 25 years of continuous service in Manatee County receive longevity recognition in the form of additional supplements


  • Returning paras receive one salary step
  • Paras at the top receive a 2% increase


  • The agreement is retroactive to 7/1/16

Health Insurance

  • No changes to health insurance plan benefits
  • Health insurance premium structure changes from 3 tiers to 4 tiers.  Changes and premiums take effect December 1, 2016 for the January 1, 2017 plan year.  Details to follow soon.


The teams worked together to reach tentative agreement.

After meeting on August 24, 2016 the challenges in this year's bargaining include:

  • recommended health insurance increases for those covering a spouse while others maintain their current premium
  • limited availability of salary dollars due to lack of increased funding provided by the state.  This year's state funding increased by 1%.


PDF icon bargaining_062016.pdf

PDF icon bargaining_071216.pdf

PDF icon bargaining_072816.pdf

PDF icon bargaining_082416.pdf

PDF icon bargaining_090716.pdf

PDF icon bargaining_092216.pdf

PDF icon bargaining_100316.pdf

Stay tuned for further updates.