BRADENTON – Superintendent Rick Mills announced Thursday that the School District of Manatee County has reached a tentative agreement for a 2 percent across the board pay increase with the American Federation of State, County and Municipal Employees (AFSCME). It marked the first time in several years that AFSCME employees received pay increases in two consecutive years. Last year, the district and AFSCME agreed to a 2.12% pay increase.
In addition, today’s tentative agreement includes AFSCME’s endorsement of the 2015 health plans offered through Florida Blue which were recommended by the school district’s Health Insurance Committee. AFSCME represents a wide range of school district employees including transportation employees, food service, vehicle maintenance, warehouse, custodial, construction and maintenance.
The tentative agreement will not be official until ratified by AFSCME members and formally approved by the School Board. Local AFSCME President Bruce Mohr said he hopes to have a ratification vote prior to the next regularly scheduled School Board meeting, which is set for Tuesday, October 14, 2014. Once approved, the agreement and pay increases will be retroactive to July 1, 2014.
“There wasn’t a lot of language to work out, it basically boiled down to insurance and wages,” Mohr said. Mohr thanked AFSCME Regional Director Hector Ramos for heading up his bargaining team.
Sam Lee, a retired educator and school district administrator who last served in Collier County in 1995, headed up the school district’s bargaining team.
“I think when all the dust settles from other counties around, you will find that this is a fair and equitable agreement,” Lee said. “I appreciate the cooperation AFSCME gave us and their understanding at the table.”
Superintendent Mills stated, “I am excited about the tentative agreement and the fact that it aligns with our priority of re-investing in our employees.”