Bay District Schools teachers will all be getting raises

Published: Nov. 15, 2022 at 10:43 PM CST
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PANAMA CITY, Fla. (WJHG/WECP) - Bay District Schools teachers will soon be seeing bigger numbers on their paychecks.

Local teachers have been fighting for more pay, rallying outside the Panama City Mall last week and the school board building Monday evening.

After months and countless hours at the bargaining table, the district and the union finally reached an agreement Tuesday night.

The proposal brings the starting salary for teachers up to $47,544, which meets the state-mandated minimum of $47,500.

Across the board, teachers will get a roughly 5.52% raise, but that’s just an estimate. The agreed offer comes to just over $5 million in raises.

”A commitment from both sides to not want to drag this out again. So again, we were able to find a middle ground on some things that we’ve worked hard on the past few months, but we were sort of mutually walking away from some things, and we may talk about them again in a year. We may decide a year from now they really weren’t that important,” Sharon Michalik, Director of Communications for Bay District Schools, said.

”Remember, a good bargaining session is one where nobody gets everything they want, and nobody loses everything they want and I think we struck a good compromise this year,” Alexis Underwood, Chair of the Association of Bay County Educators, said.

The next step is to send the proposal over for union ratification and it still needs to go before the school board for final approval, which will likely happen after Thanksgiving break.

” Everyone at Bay District Schools is totally committed to doing what’s right for the students. Ultimately, we’re all on the same page. We’re all on that same team, although at times we are bargaining for different sides of that team. But when it comes to the end of it, we shake the hands and we sign on the dotted lines. We’re all about the kids and doing what’s right for them,” Michalik said.

”If we can come to an agreement at the table, keeping the interests of our students at the center of the discussion, we always find a way to partner together,” Underwood said.

Once everything is finalized, officials said teachers can expect to see those raises starting in the new year.

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