School board ap­proves con­tract with teach­ers’ union

El­i­gi­ble in­struc­tors, cer­tifi­cated em­ploy­ees get pay in­crease, ad­di­tional prep time

Maryland Independent - - Front Page - By JAMIE ANFENSON-COMEAU jan­fen­son-comeau@somd­news.com

The Charles County Board of Ed­u­ca­tion unan­i­mously voted to ap­prove a new con­tract for teach­ers and other cer­tifi­cated em­ploy­ees at its Mon­day work ses­sion.

The con­tract, ef­fec­tive for up­com­ing fis­cal year begin­ning July 1, pro­vides pay level in­creases for all Unit I and Unit II em­ploy­ees cov­ered by the Ed­u­ca­tion As­so­ci­a­tion of Charles County who are el­i­gi­ble to re­ceive one.

Unit I refers to class­room teach­ers, coun­selors, me­dia spe­cial­ists, Ju­nior ROTC teach­ers, re­source teach­ers and

speech ther­a­pists. Unit II refers to direc­tors, co­or­di­na­tors, prin­ci­pals, vice prin­ci­pals, ad­min­is­tra­tive as­sis­tants, su­per­vi­sors, spe­cial­ists, as­sis­tant su­per­vi­sors, psy­chol­o­gists and pupil per­son­nel work­ers.

The con­tract in­cludes new lan­guage man­dat­ing el­e­men­tary school

teach­ers be pro­vided 240 min­utes of self-di­rected prepa­ra­tion time per week dur­ing the school day, in blocks of no fewer than 40 min­utes each day.

“We en­sured there was ad­di­tional prep time for teach­ers in be­tween classes,” Board chair­man Michael Lukas said. “We re­ally ap­pre­ci­ate the jobs that they do and we want to ac­com­mo­date them when­ever pos­si­ble, par­tic­u­larly in ar­eas which don’t in­cur ad­di­tional costs.”

The con­tract also in­cludes new lan­guage stat­ing that em­ploy­ees will not be re­quired to at­tend IEP (In­di­vid­u­al­ized Ed­u­ca­tion Plan) meet­ings dur­ing their self-di­rected plan­ning or duty-free lunch time.

Ad­di­tional lan­guage states that em­ploy­ees sub­sti­tut­ing for an ab­sent prin­ci­pal or vice prin­ci­pal will be paid at the re­spec­tive prin­ci­pal or vice prin­ci­pal level after 15 days of con­sec­u­tive sub­sti­tut­ing.

In ad­di­tion, CCPS will re­im­burse speech and lan­guage pathol­o­gists, oc­cu­pa­tional and phys­i­cal ther­a­pists for li­cen­sure and re­newal fees, and will pay an ad­di­tional $2,500 to oc­cu­pa­tional and phys­i­cal ther­a­pists who suc­cess­fully com­plete their cer­ti­fi­ca­tion.

The EACC held two rat­i­fi­ca­tion meet­ings on June 6 and June 7. Ac­cord­ing to the EACC web­site, 246 EACC mem­bers — or 13 per­cent of the union’s mem­ber­ship — voted on the ten­ta­tive agree­ment, with 86.6 per­cent vot­ing to rat­ify the con­tract.

“The EACC is pleased with the hard work put in by both sides on the Ne­go­ti­ated Agree­ment with CCPS,” Linda McLaughlin, EACC president, said in an email. “We are ap­pre­cia­tive that the

Charles County Com­mis­sion­ers found the ex­tra $1.6 mil­lion to fund the Su­per­in­ten­dent’s bud­get so that a pay level in­crease for all el­i­gi­ble Unit I and Unit II em­ploy­ees could be ne­go­ti­ated. Ad­di­tion­ally, we are dis­ap­pointed that Charles County ed­u­ca­tors are still two pay lev­els be­hind, and barely com­pet­i­tive for start­ing salaries with sur­round­ing coun­ties. We are com­mit­ted to work­ing col­lab­o­ra­tively with CCPS and the County Com­mis­sion­ers in mov­ing for­ward in an ef­fort to make the em­ploy­ees whole while still keep­ing the stu­dents in the fore­front.”

EACC mem­bers did not re­ceive pay level in­creases in Fis­cal Years 2011 and 2015. Al­though Su­per­in­ten­dent Kim­berly Hill’s pro­posed FY 2018 bud­get

in­cluded an es­ti­mated re­serve for ne­go­ti­at­ing the two level in­creases, that por­tion of the bud­get was not ap­proved by the Board of Charles County Com­mis­sion­ers.

“As a board, we’d like to do more, but we have to op­er­ate within the fund­ing that we re­ceive from the county com­mis­sion­ers,” Lukas said.

The con­tract does in­clude lan­guage stat­ing that if ad­di­tional fund­ing be­comes avail­able dur­ing the year, both par­ties agree to re­open ne­go­ti­a­tions to dis­cuss ad­di­tional com­pen­sa­tion.

Ear­lier, the board ap­proved a ne­go­ti­ated con­tract with AFSCME Lo­cal 2981, the union for sup­port per­son­nel, in­clud­ing a 2 per­cent Cost of Liv­ing (COLA) in­crease.

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