Teachers OK deal, but is it enough?

The district’s chief negotiator, Leonard Dietzen, left, speaks with school board attorney Barbara sa

The district’s chief negotiator, Leonard Dietzen, left, speaks with school board attorney Barbara sanders, while board member George Thompson, center, talks with administrator Al London.

David Adlerstein
Published: Wednesday, February 13, 2013 at 12:16 PM.

Franklin County School district employees voted overwhelmingly Tuesday to ratify a contract for the current school year designed to bring the district’s fund balance into positive territory.

But whether it will prevent the need for future cuts this school year remains a question.

Rik McNeill, executive director of the Florida Education Association’s Central Panhandle Service unit, and a key negotiator on behalf of the county teachers and education support personnel, said the one-year contract, from July 1, 2012 until June 30, 2103, passed easily in secret balloting by both teachers and support personnel.

All teachers, regardless of whether they are among the roughly two-thirds who are members of the Franklin County Teachers Association union, were entitled to vote on the contract. Of these, 93 percent voted yes.

The same was true of the non-teaching staff, with all of them, not only members of the Franklin Education Support Professionals Association, able to vote. Of these, 78 percent voted yes.

The contract still remains to be approved by the district, with school board members expected to vote yes when they meet Feb. 21.

Key to the contract is a provision that will enable the district to delay the June 2012 paychecks to teachers on 10-month contracts until July 2013, the first month of the next fiscal year.



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