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Contracts Successfully Reached With Polk’s Teachers, Paraeducators and Secretaries

May 24, 2016

Polk County Public Schools is pleased to announce contracts have been reached with teachers, paraeducators and secretaries.

These employees represented by the Polk Education Association ratified their contracts after votes were tallied on Monday night.

“I appreciate all parties coming together, finding common ground and working toward successful negotiations,” said Jacqueline M. Byrd, who became the district’s Superintendent of Schools earlier this year. “Our educators are on the frontlines every day inspiring students to do their best and cultivating a love of learning. Our secretaries are dedicated professionals handling a multitude of tasks in our schools and district offices.”

Superintendent Byrd praised PEA President Marianne Capoziello for her positive attitude, and commitment to fruitful, productive negotiations.

“Finalizing contracts was a major priority for me and so many others,” Byrd said. “I am thankful to everyone for working together to make this a reality.”

The Polk County School Board held a special meeting earlier this month to approve the contracts. Employee votes were tallied Monday, and ratified their contracts, which include step raises.

Employees will receive their step increases in their May paychecks, and it will be retroactive to the start of the school year for most employees and to July 1, 2015 for those whose contract year started at that time.

The teachers will receive a step raise of 1.5 percent. Paraeducators, secretaries and clerks will receive a step raise of 2 percent.

These employees ratified their contracts with wide margins:

The ESP/Secretary Contract was ratified by 99.6 percent, with 84 percent of ESP voting.

The Paraeducator Contract was ratified by 99.6 percent, with 72 percent of paraeducators voting.

The Teacher Contract was ratified by 98.2 percent, with 59 percent of teachers voting.