Brevard County teachers, school board vote to approve contract for new school year

The Brevard County School board and Brevard teachers overwhelmingly voted to approve a teacher contract for the 2019-2020 school year.

The board voted 5-0 to approve the contract at its meeting Tuesday night. The Brevard Federation of Teachers said 3,273 teachers had voted in favor of ratifying the district’s contract in a vote last week, making it a 98 percent margin of approval. About 69 percent of employees covered by the BFT contract cast ballots in the election.

“We’ve not seen such a positive response to a contract in a decade,” said BFT President Anthony Colucci.

Under the new contract, more than 4,000 “highly effective” teachers will get a $2,000 pay raise. That equates to a 4.1 percent raise for a teacher earning the average BPS salary of $48,634. More than 300 teachers rated “effective” will get a 3 percent raise on average, $1,500. More than 2,400 teachers who have been with BPS for 12 years or more will get an additional $1,200 pay raise.

The district says the biggest winners will be the nearly half of all BPS teachers who are rated “highly effective” and who also have worked for BPS for 12 years or longer.  

Their total raise would average about 6.5 percent -- the biggest percentage increase among Central Florida school districts this year.

School Board Chair Tina Descovich said, “It’s a raise I’m proud of and can stand behind. It doesn’t solve all our problems. But it’s a step in the right direction.”

The contract also improves work conditions for teachers, including more bereavement leave following the death of a family member and early dismissal for teachers to prep for hurricanes. It also provides an additional $835 raise for exceptional education support specialists and support facilitators.