Hillsborough County Teachers To Protest Pay Increase Freeze

Thanksgiving break is over for Hillsborough County teachers, but that doesn’t mean they are returning to their regular work hours. In fact, public school teachers are cutting back their hours this week.

The cut hours are in response to their “working to contract” plan, meaning they will only work eight hours a day as their contracts require.

Many educators at Mitchell Elementary School in Tampa told WFLA they would be leaving at 3:40 instead of leaving at 5:30.

“I understand the money is not there. They say it’s not in the budget. They can’t pull money out of thin air, but we were promised that money. We count on that money,” said Jennifer Butorakto, a teacher at Mitchell Elementary, to WFLA.

The “working to contract” plan comes after teachers, parents and students protested the school board’s decision to freeze pay increases for teachers. Teachers say they were promised a $4,000 increase over the last three years but have not seen any of it.

WFLA reached out to the school board and was told the money is needed elsewhere for technology and air conditioner replacements. Governor Rick Scott appeared at Mitchell Elementary School on Monday to discuss his “Securing Florida’s Future Budget” campaign.

While the governor can’t make any promises, he urges teachers and parents to call their local and state representatives to voice their opinion.

The next school board meeting is December 5 and pay increases are sure to be a hot topic.