Impasse Process FAQs

Q: What authority does the special magistrate have in resolving the differences between the district and the union?

A: Under s. 447.403(3), Fla. Stat., “The special magistrate shall hold hearings in order to define the area or areas of dispute, to determine facts relating to the dispute, and to render a decision on any and all unresolved contract issues.” The Special Magistrate will then give the parties a recommended decision within 15 days after the close of the hearing. Either party can reject the recommendations of the Special Magistrate within 20 days after receipt of the recommended decision.

Q: What is the school board’s role if the union or the district rejects any or all of the special magistrates recommendations?

A: If either party rejects all or part of the special magistrate’s recommended decision, the disputed issues are decided by the School Board sitting as the legislative body. The School Board sitting as the legislative body “shall take such action as it deems to be in the public interest, including the interest of the public employees involved, to resolve all disputed impasse issues.” (See s. 447.403(4)(d), Fla. Stat.)

Q: How long does the impasse process take before teachers receive their raises?

A: While there is no defined time frame for the entire impasse process, the last two impasse disputes over compensation and benefits between the Orange County Classroom Teachers Association and the district lasted between six and seven months.

Q: Will waiving the special magistrate and going directly to the school board shorten the process?

A: Yes, the process before the school board will not take as long as the special magistrate process.

Q: Is it possible to resolve the impasse through the bargaining process?

A: Yes, the teachers’ union and the district have a continuing responsibility to meet for bargaining during impasse. During the bargaining session on Wednesday, Aug. 23, 2023, district negotiators committed to bargain with the union if requested by union negotiators during the impasse proceeding.