Harford County Education Association President Randy Cerveny said he is pleased that county funding is available for employee bonuses, but said it’s not up to County Executive David Craig to determine how those funds will be used in Harford County Public Schools.
In a surprise announcement last week, Craig proposed a one-time, $1,250 bonus to be paid to all county employees thanks to an unexpected $32 million general fund balance beyond the required reserves for the fiscal year 2011. Of the $32 million, $11.3 million is slated for the employee bonuses, with some remaining funds going toward one-time capital projects, according to a press release issued by Craig.
Included among those eligible to receive bonuses are Harford County Public School system employees and Harford County Public Library personnel, along with personnel of the Harford County Sheriff’s Office, the State’s Attorney’s Office, the Circuit Court and the Judiciary.
While the Harford County Council has not agreed to the necessary legislation to allocate the funding for the bonuses, Cerveny issued a statement that says, in part, “…the County Executive cannot dictate how money placed into the school budget is used.” Referring to the $7.5 million slated for bonuses in Harford County Public Schools, Cerveny said that any use of the funds must be determined through negotiations with the bargaining units representing school system employees. Harford County Public Schools has approximately 5,300 employees, 3,200 of whom are represented by the Harford County Education Association.
Below is the full text of the statement from HCEA President Randy Cerveny:
Despite the County Executive’s statements in the press release, Maryland State law (Section 6-408 of the Education Article) requires the school system to negotiate. HCEA is pleased that there is money available for all school employees – something that HCEA has stated all along, but this is must [sic] be handled through negotiations with HCEA and other bargaining units to determine how this money is used; the school system has acknowledged its statutory obligation to engage in negotiations. In short, the County Executive cannot dictate how money placed into the school budget is used.
From the HCEA web site:
HCEA Harford County Education Association is the professional association and bargaining union for all Harford County Public School teachers, guidance counselors and psychologists, media specialists, occupational therapists, physical therapists, and speech and hearing clinicians. HCEA represents approximately 3,200 employees of Harford County Public Schools in collective bargaining. Approximately 2,070 of those employees are members.