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Florida school district violated employment contracts, owes money

Teachers are often viewed as underappreciated and underpaid members of the workforce. Many teachers in Florida work hard every day to provide their students with a good education. Unfortunately, school districts do not always have enough money to pay teachers what they deserve.

A contract dispute between a Fort Lauderdale school district and the teachers union has been settled by arbitrators. The teachers' employment contracts stated that any schedule change must be approved by two-thirds of the faculty. When the district decided to change from a block-format to a seven-period school day for the 2012-2013 school year, however, teachers were forced to adopt the new schedule, even if they did not approve of the change. As a result, many of the teachers were forced to take on an extra class.

Arbitrators ruled that the district was wrong to ignore contract provisions and that they owe the teachers $20 million in back pay. The district has offered two repayment plans, neither of which have gone over well with the union. They have offered to pay the teachers back in full over 20 years, or pay them $2,000 - $3,000 over a couple of years. The union president called this offer "insulting" and is asking for the $6,000 - $12,000 per teacher over a period of 5 years.

If the union and the school district are unable to agree on a repayment plan, either side could seek employment litigation. If you are planning on filing an employment-related lawsuit, you may want to contact an attorney to discuss your legal options.

Source: The Ledger, "Broward County Teachers Owed $20 Mil. In Back Pay," August 21, 2013

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