The following e-mail was sent to members of the Harford County Education Association by President Randy Cerveny on December 14, 2011. A copy was provided to The Dagger for publication.
A great deal of information has been swirling around about the County Executive’s proposed distribution of funds. Some has been accurate, and some less so. I would like to take this opportunity to make clear what has happened, what is around the corner, and what HCEA is doing on behalf of our members.
HCEA is committed to securing money for our teachers, and has been engaged in this process each step of the way. We want to make sure that you receive every cent of the money and that, while doing so, we defend our long-term financial and collective bargaining interests for which we’ve fought so hard.
As you know, last night, the County Council approved, with amendments, the County Executive’s legislation—thereby authorizing a payment of $625 for all county employees. The remaining $625 will be considered in the spring.
The fact that the Council passed the bill and the money is now in the school system’s budget is a big win and greatly enhances HCEA’s potential ability to use this money through renegotiations. This Friday, the Labor Board will hold a hearing to determine the money that is to be renegotiated. The money that was just released to HCPS could be part of that pot, meaning that the binding ruling of the Labor Board could help HCEA restore money lost over the last three years and help upgrade your salaries—permanently. Any upgrade to your salary schedule will raise your base salary and be returned year after year, not just once, as the County Executive has proposed. An upgrade also would enhance your retirement benefit; a one-time payment would not. Over time, this could mean a difference of thousands more dollars in your pocket. The worst-case scenario is that the Labor Board does not include the just released money in the pot to be renegotiated, but insist that that money be distributed as a one-time stipend of $1,250. Either way you will get your money.
Please know that HCEA is fighting for you and our long-term best interests: improving teacher salaries and defending our collective power. Thank you for your support, patience, and all that you do for our students every day.
Randall Cerveny, President
Harford County Education Association
National Board Certified Teacher