The Polk County School Board has unanimously approved the PCPS teacher salary and benefits agreement for 2021-22. The collective bargaining agreement between PCPS and the Polk Education Association teachers union was previously ratified by 96% of voting PEA members on Dec. 16. The union represents approximately 6,980 teachers. “I’m proud of everyone for coming together to negotiate this teacher contract,” said Superintendent Frederick Heid. “Our educators commit themselves each day to positively impacting students and helping them strive for academic success. This is a special calling, and the work is difficult. Saying thank you isn’t enough; we must find ways to fairly compensate them.” An executive summary of the salary and benefits agreement is available here. Highlights include: – Using the state-funded Teacher Salary Increase Allocation, the minimum starting salary for PCPS teachers will increase to $45,487, up from $45,172 last year. The base salary for PCPS’ most experienced teachers will be $64,282, up from $64,072. – PCPS teachers hired prior to July 1, 2014 (grandfathered schedule) will have $210 added to their current annual salary. Teachers hired since July 1, 2014 (performance salary schedule) will have $315 added to their annual salary. – Advanced degree supplements will increase by the following amounts during a two-year period: * Master’s degree: Up $490 to $2,671 retroactive to July 1, 2021; up $491 to $3,162 effective July 1, 2022 * Specialist degree: Up $809 to $3,708 retroactive to July 1, 2021; up $809 to $4,517 effective July 1, 2022 * Doctoral degree: Up $1,778 to $4,998 retroactive to July 1, 2021; up $1,778 to $6,776 effective July 1, 2022 – Supplements from the Elementary and Secondary School Emergency Relief (ESSER) fund will be paid to employees covered by the PEA teacher collective bargaining agreement. All eligible instructional positions will receive $1,000 after taxes for each of the three following school years: 2021-22, 2022-23, 2023-24. The first installment (of at least $500 net income) will be paid on Jan. 31, 2022. (Payments are contingent upon grant application approval.) PCPS and PEA agree to work together to add $1,000 into the salary schedules following completion of the ESSER funds, so teachers do not see a loss of income after the three-year agreement. – There will be no employee or optional dependent premium increases to PCPS’ employee health plan for 2022. Individual, benefits-eligible PCPS employees will continue to have health insurance coverage at no cost. – All existing supplements are being increased, and new supplement payments are being added. Please see the bargaining agreement summary for details. With the agreement now approved by the school board, salary schedule increases will be paid to eligible employees on Jan. 31, 2022. Please see the executive summary for more details. For questions or more information, PCPS employees should contact the HR Call Center at email@example.com or 863-534-0781 ext. 2.