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School superintendents blame unions for a snag in teacher pay raises

A man in a blue suit speaks at a podium
Florida Channel
Addison Davis speaks Wednesday at the Florida Board of Education meeting as one of several school superintendents in the state blaming the union for teachers now getting pay raises.

Several districts are still in negotiations with unions.

Thousands of Florida teachers have yet to get their share of the state’s $800 million allocation for raises — and school superintendents are blaming the unions.

They say union negotiations are why they did not meet the Oct. 1 deadline to submit an approved salary distribution plan to the state.

Addison Davis, superintendent for Hillsborough County Schools, spoke at Wednesday Board of Education meeting to say he regularly meets with union leaders, but they have yet to reach an agreement.

"We had to deal with some issues this week with teachers who were sleeping in their cars," Davis said. "So we know the importance of being able to accelerate that money and get in their pockets by Oct. 1.”

Teacher union leaders disagree that they're the problem.

Florida Education Association President Andrew Spar pointed out that the majority of school districts have successfully completed their negotiations and paid the raises.

I took my first photography class when I was 11. My stepmom begged a local group to let me into the adults-only class, and armed with a 35 mm disposable camera, I started my journey toward multimedia journalism.