Bay County School Board members approved raises Tuesday for some administrators and employees not represented by bargaining groups.
That means all school employees will get raises this year, the first in quite a while.
School board members approved a 5% raise for 1,700 teachers and more than 100 administrators that do not belong the the Association of Bay County Educators for the Bay Educational Support Personnel Association.
It means all 3 segments of school district employees will be getting salary hikes.
Last week negotiators for the district and ABCE agreed on a tentative contract for teachers with a $2,100 raise.
Officials say support employees are getting a 3% hike.
Meantime, after all the negotiations, the teachers' bargaining group still seems suspicious.
During Tuesday's school board meeting, they questioned where the district is getting the money, after claiming they couldn't afford it during negotiations.
Wednesday Superintendent Bill Husfelt explained the finances.
He said, "We have been keeping between 3% and 5% every year and we are trying to maintain that. We are taking a million dollars out of our reserve fund to give teachers. That's more than what the governor had sent to give teachers and pay salary wages."
The contract also calls for a $500 bonus and no increases in health care insurance premiums.
"The $500 is one time. The $2,175 raise is forever," Husfelt said.
The total package amounts to about a 7% raise.
Husfelt said, "In a perfect world we would be able to give people a 10% or 15% raise because I believe they really deserve it. However, we just don't have that kind of money."
Teachers also seem to be upset about the administrators' 5% raises.
"I think that the feeling was, 'Wait a minute you are going to give them the same thing we've got?' That was the concern. When you talk about money people get upset; they get nervous and worried."
Husfelt also expects to also hear from the support personnel.
"I would imagine our support employees that only got three-percent are saying what the teachers got is unfair," he said.
School board members have already approved the new contract with BESPA.
The majority of ABCE members will have to ratify the teachers' tentative contract, then school board members will have to approve it before it takes effect.