Local bargaining teams for the teachers union, the Association of Bay County Educators (ABCE) and the Bay County School Board sat down at the bargaining table Wednesday for their first session this school year.
Teachers typically ask for a pay raise and increased benefits, but with a tight budget already in place for this year and more cuts to come as state class size requirements shrink, school officials say they won’t be able to meet all of the teachers’ demands.
When negotiations finally wrap up, both the teachers and the School Board will vote on the tentative agreement.
If the two sides can’t agree then a special master is called in to arbitrate the dispute. His recommendations are then voted on by the School Board.