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Jeff Vasilinda becomes the Vasilinda Family’s first published author!

Thousands to Rally at Capitol For Teacher Pay

January 6th, 2020 by Mike Vasilinda

Next Monday thousands of teachers from across the state will be at the State Capitol, hoping to set the agenda for the annual legislative session that begins Tuesday.

Their message: It’s time for not just a higher minimum salary, but much more.

“We can not continue to do what we do and the magic that happens between a teacher and a student when our lights are being cut off. When we can’t afford mortgages or rent,” said Fedrick Ingram, President of the Florida Education Association.

On top of bonuses, the Governor is proposing raising teacher salaries to a minimum $47,500.

“Which takes Florida from 26th to number two in the nation,” said Governor Ron DeSantis.

The Governor’s plan is being called “A start, but it’s not a cure for where we are.”

The union believes everyone from the janitorial staff to cafeteria workers and bus drivers need more money.

“This school year we had three thousand classrooms that did not have a certified teacher. The Governor’s plan will not cure that. We still have over two thousand vacancies that are teacher shortages. We have bus driver shortages,” said Ingram.

Under Florida law it’s illegal for public employees, including teachers, to go on strike, but they point to actions by teachers in other states.

They want to put national pressure on lawmakers.

“And it is up to us to put pressure on lawmakers. To let them know we’re going to nationalize this issue. Because if we want to be at the forefront of what’s right, we’ve got to recognize what’s wrong,” said Ingram.

Many lawmakers are leery of mandating raises from here in the Capitol.

That’s because teacher pay is the cornerstone of collective bargaining with local school boards.

So far, the Governor’s raise plan has gotten a cold shoulder from some top lawmakers because of the cost and because salaries are set by local school boards.

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