Hillsborough teacher pay raise debate may be over

- The debate over teacher pay raises in Hillsborough County appears to be over.

After months of protests and tense negotiations, a deal was signed Wednesday morning.

“This brings hope to our employees in knowing they have a pathway moving forward,” said Hillsborough County Schools Superintendent Jeff Eakins.

“Our team has worked as hard as we can to get the best deal possible in the circumstances we're at,” said Executive Director of the Hillsborough Classroom Teachers Association Stephanie Baxter-Jenkins.

Here's how the deal breaks down:

Teachers that were owed a $4,000 raise last school year will see their pay bumped up by that amount, starting July 1.

They'll also receive about $2,600 in back pay, which is about two-thirds what they were owed for the year prior.

“I’m relieved this is done,” said teacher Brittni Wegmann. “Where we started a year ago was nothing, that was frustrating."

Teachers that are due the raise this year, will get about $2,600, but not until October, saving the school district a little money.

Going forward, their salary will also increase by $4,000.

Maridea Grove is in that group.

“I think we've done the best we could [under] difficult circumstances,” Grove said.

The district says, to make room for the increases, it lost about 800 positions, mostly through attrition. It also found cost savings with vendors, among other cuts.

The plan must still be approved by the school board and the teacher’s union. That is expected to happen around late July and early August.

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