School board approves contract with teachers’ union
Eligible instructors, certificated employees get pay increase, additional prep time
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.