BTU Launches Campaign Against Notter


You’ll be seeing this truck a lot around Broward in the next few days.



It’s the Broward Teachers Union’s attempt to pressure School Superintendent Jim Notter over teacher raises and the general state of the school system.

Teachers are unhappy with spending cuts in the school system.   So am I.

But realistically,  the money shortage facing schools are out of Notter’s control.

As the Bill Clinton campaign said: “It’s the economy, stupid.”

Notter can’t spend what he doesn’t have.  The recession has cut into tax receipts.

The truck billboard and newspaper advertising that accompany it are part of the BTU’s job — to represent teachers. Its a good move to focus the public’s attention on education.

Just don’t expect miracles. 






15 Responses to “BTU Launches Campaign Against Notter”

  1. Beth The Bounty Hunter says:

    The teachers need to be more realistic, they should be happy to have a job and not just want a little percentage raise….they are being selfish. Raising their salaries in this budget shortage time means some of the lower paid employees, who also have families to support, will lose their jobs. They need to tighten their belts like everyone else is doing. Retirees who get a retirement check and also their DROP money should not be back working in the school system at all. They need to clear the way for the younger people to have a chance to work and feed their families. That would free up a considerable amount of money.

  2. Beth The Bounty Hunter says:

    It would be interesting if a Board Member would ask Mr. Notter to prepare a report on exactly how many retirees are back at work and what are their salaries, either full or part-time!!!!!

  3. Marty Rubinstein says:

    But where’s the part about BTU shafting teachers with less than 18 years of seniority?

    A fifth year teacher earns only $371 per year more than a first year teacher. I guess that if teachers received real 3% raises in a 3% year rather than steps, BTU would have nothing to complain about.

    Fact: Palm Beach teachers (CTA) start at $2,400 less than Broward teachers but get above $45,000 in 12 years instead of BTU’s 16 years.

    There has been more than enough money for all teachers to be earning a decent living. BTU just gives most of the money to 4,000 teachers while permitting 20,000 teachers to starve.

    And Santeramo and the others should be made to disclose their BTU salaries in addition to the School Board salaries.


  4. Missing the Point says:

    The point that should be made here is that the school board wastes so much money all over the place that they don’t have enough to reward teachers properly. I also am not a fan of BTU because their agenda is more money for less work and better working conditions. Neither party looks out for kids very well. That is what is fractured in public education today. Kids are the after thought and that’s why we need a total revolution in how we deliver public education. It should not take that much money to teach that number of kids well to begin with, and we should also be able to pay teachers well as professionals deserve. Both can be achieved but only with leadership and reform.

  5. Marty Rubinstein says:


    No question that the School Board wastes money. I put a stop to it where I could, but that’s beside the point.

    There has been more than enough money given to teachers year after year after year, on and on…

    The problem has, is and still will be BTU unless teachers, parents, politicians and everybody else wakes up to the fact that the UNION is screwing the majority of its teachers in favor of a small minority.

    There’s absolutely no reason in the world that a fifth year teacher can’t be making $43,500 rather than the $38,800 they make today other than BTU.

    There’s no reason that a tenth year teacher shouldn’t be making $50,500 rather than $40,900 other than BTU.

    There’s no reason that a 16th year teacher shouldn’t be making $60,200 rather than the $45,700 today other than BTU.

    Teachers DO NOT get across the board raises. They get an average of $387 PER YEAR raise for the first 15 years. That’s average. Most years it’s less than $300. A LOT LESS.

    Top scale teachers earn over $72,000 per year. So guess who gets the raise money and who does not.

    Darla Carter and I FORCED the UNION to give EVERY TEACHER a $2,050 ACROSS THE BOARD

  6. Marty Rubinstein says:

    Make that ACROSS THE BOARD raises in 2006.

  7. Notter Fan says:

    Jim Notter is the best thing ever for the district.
    I worked close under Frank Till. If his mouth was moving, he was lying. He would make mistakes and blame his staff. A bad egg.
    Notter is a great administrator who spread the praise around when justified. He is trying very hard to cope with the situation of having less and less money every year that he has been Superintendent. It is not his fault.
    The BTU should put the blame where it lies — the state Legislature. Democrats and Republicans have failed to fund education fully for the 30 years I have been working in Florida. DEMOCRATS AND REPUBLICANS. The constitution requires fully funding education.
    Legislators, obey the law!

  8. Marty Rubinstein says:

    You’re correct about Notter and Till.

    Till tried to set up the School Board by insisting the Board put a $3/4 Billion tax hike on the ballot in 2006. If it failed (which it would, he would have blamed the Board.)

    I stopped it. (My vote was the defeating vote.)

    Then I stopped Till. Yes, me.

    I was the fifth vote to fire him. Four other votes, but I get the blame because I was the deciding vote. So be it.

    But Till is not the subject here. BTU is. DO NOT BLAME THE LEGISLATURE. well, not completely, anyway.

    Take a look at the real culprit at

  9. I. P. Freely says:

    Over the last nine years, the legislature has increased the average per-student education funding (after including this January reduction) almost $240 per-student, per year. This has increased funding for K-12 students by over 43% or over $2050 per-student over that period of time.

  10. Marty Wrong says:


    With respect, there’s a reason you were only a one termer at the school board. You don’t see the thing for what it is and what it needs to become. Median income for a family in Broward is a little less than $70K. That’s what teachers need to average in order to be paid right in the middle. For that, they go to college, often to graduate school, and give to our children the most precious thing that they can get in their lifetimes — an education. The school board never fails to say that they don’t have enough money. But the fact is they waste money like no other entity could imagine doing. The waste and abuse in that organization is way out of porportion. Like Bob Norman likes to say, that organization needs an emema and a good hot shower afterward. Tear the thing down and build it back up I say with the right priorities. There will be more than enough to pay teachers, and to get them to stay after class like they used to years ago and tutor, and all kinds of things that teaching as a profession has lost. Teaching is first and foremost a public service, not a civil service.

  11. Beth The Bounty Hunter says:

    I think the BTU should oust Santeramo and they would get much greater results. He does and says nothing, he only got the job because of default.

  12. Marty Rubinstein says:

    The Teachers who are getting shafted out of their rightful raises (at least 15,000) need to find a real candidate and mount a campaign to oust Santeramo AND COMPANY.

    The entire top level must go.

    The rank and file must find a leader who will guide them and mount a revolt that will either remove Santeramo and his crowd, or replace BTU itself.

    I’m sure CTA or other units would love to talk to them.

  13. S. Only says:

    Make the starting salary $65,000 and you will see significant changes in both the quality and make-up of new hires. Like the president, this would have to come from the grass roots up. (not gonna happen). The classroom and children getting an education is the key. Most of these other people who are not school based are wasting $ and taking it from the students, who are our future. Put the $ where it belongs: Teacher’s salaries and benefits.

  14. Marty Rubinstein says:

    Sorry, Mr. Marty Wrong, but you just don’t get it.

    All of my “median income” searches for Broward is only about $39k not the 70k you present. The average income for a family of 4 is closer to $45k. Family of course, means mom and pop working.

    I’ve done the research. You can fantasize teachers at 70k all you want but it’s just not on the reality curve.

    Most professionals start their careers at about 24 or 25k and all of your protests will not change that fact. Most pros top out at $55k. Teachers are well above that, and everything else is a wishful thinking fantasy.

    The crime is not the bottom to top scale, but the step raises. Get used to it. No other Teacher unit treats their rank and file as shabbily as BTU. 3% raises need to be 3%, not $25 with the remainder given to teachers at step 20.

    My “one term” was all about cutting waste and saving money. I ran the leanest budgets of any School Board member either then or since.

    I knew what the waste was and cut as much of it as I could from BELOW THE RADAR. I didn’t see the need to create headlines unless they were warranted. The headlines over the twisted purchase of the crap land in Southwest Ranches were purely generated by yours truly.

    My “one term” was simply because I generated resentment from the community for firing the “greatest Superintendent Broward ever had.”

    But then again, I had absolutely nothing to lose. I had already been warned by my doctors (yes plural) not to run for re-election back in July of 2006. But run I did, anyway.

    The primary election in September (which I won) took everything out of me. The remainder of the campaign was a disaster. I could no longer walk, I needed to rest way too often. I had absolutely nothing to lose in firing Frank Till.

    And doing so got rid of a great deal of waste. Not all, admittedly, but enough to make a difference.

    I’ll take care of the teacher payroll war from retirement.

    Your mission, Mr. Phelps, should you decide to accept it, is to engineer the defeat of every board member that dropped their drawers every time Till said “boo.”

    And you can bet your bottom dollar that not one of the five who voted to fire Till will be targets.

  15. Teachers Unrealistic says:

    We are in a recession/depression and all teachers want to do is for us to give them more. They are lucky to have jobs.