The Charlotte County teachers union will be heading back to the bargaining table with the school district today.
One of the points of discussion will be regarding how to resolve 91 teachers reportedly being “overpaid” as a result of district error.
In July, the Sun reported that the 91 Charlotte County Public Schools teachers affected received a letter from the district describing the possible over-payment. The amount in question is about $300,000.
Teachers and staff salaries are dependent on whether they have a bachelor’s or master’s degree and years of experience. The different levels are referred to as “steps.”
As a result of district error, some new teachers were brought on at a higher step than they had actually earned. Once the error was discovered, the district asked teachers to return the money and revert to a lower step level that reflected their actual experience.
Meanwhile, the union was allowed to return to the bargaining table to discuss potential raises and/or benefits for teachers in its contract with the district.
Each year, the Florida Department of Education dictates how much money each district receives through the Florida Education Finance Program. According to the FLDOE, the primary function is to fund the operating costs of school districts.
The language in the contract says if the state allocates a specific amount to the district that is more than the prior year, bargaining on the contract can re-open.
District spokesperson Mike Riley said the district can’t comment on the matter because grievances have been filed.
“We look forward to an early and amicable resolution to the grievance issues as well as the bargaining issues,” the union wrote in a Facebook post.
The district will be meeting with the union today, Monday and Tuesday.