Orange County teachers offered ‘historic’ 9% salary increase

ORANGE COUNTY, Fla. — The Orange County school district is offering teachers the largest pay increase in its history, Superintendent Maria Vazquez announced Thursday.


Orange County Public Schools has been locked in contract negotiations with the Orange County Classroom Teachers Association for months.

The two sides have been at an impasse since August over a new compensation and benefits package.

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On Thursday, Superintendent Maria Vazquez called a press conference to announce the district’s latest offer to teachers.

“We’re moving forward with a historic nine percent salary increase for our teachers,” Dr. Vazquez said Thursday. “In fact, 90 percent of our teachers are rated highly effective, and will actually receive a 9.7 percent salary increase, if ratified.”

Dr. Vazquez says that’s an average annual increase of $5,400.

“The increases will range from $3,775 for a first year teacher and up to $7,950 for our most experienced teachers,” Dr. Vazquez explained.

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If approved by a majority of the teachers, the salary increase would be retroactive to the beginning of the 2023-2024 school year.

Insurance premiums would only increase between 0 and 646 dollars annually, or what Dr. Vazquez says would be approximately $32 per paycheck.

The district say it has not raised insurance rates in four years, but making no changes would prevent them from making the proposed nine percent wage increase possible. They do not plan to make changes to the health benefits plans and rates.

“I’m inspired every single day by the work of our teachers who are dedicated to providing the tools necessary for our students to be successful,” Dr. Vazquez said. “They deserved this raise.”

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The district says the raises represent a $103-million investment.

The teachers union has not responded to a request for comment about the announcement.

Clinton McCracken the president for the Orange county classroom teachers association told I went to news they pushed four percentage increases, and we’re happy that the district accepted that McCracken says we have experience teachers barely making more than some teachers who are starting again.

McCracken ads on the benefits side that the 64% increase is a real number, and you put that number up against the national average, which is 7% the increase is unreasonable.

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According to the union 157 of its members use the free benefits plan called says people using that plan have trouble finding a doctor.

To ask teachers to pay a lot more for that plan is unreasonable to ask.

In Friday, OCCTA, excepted the magistrates recommendations which included no increase for health insurance.

This will ultimately go to the school board, because the district rejected the magistrates recommendation it goes to the school board for a hearing.

They will act as an impartial judicial body and listen to union arguments and district arguments which is scheduled for March 5th and then they make a decision. After that the bargaining unit votes yes or no.

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Jeff Levkulich

Jeff Levkulich, WFTV.com

Jeff Levkulich joined the Eyewitness News team as a reporter in June 2015.