UPDATE: Statement from County Executive David R. Craig Regarding a Proposed Settlement between the Harford County Board of Education and the Harford County Education Association can be found at the bottom of this article.
From Harford County Public Schools:
The Board of Education of Harford County and the Harford County Education Association (HCEA), which represents approximately 3,200 Harford County Public Schools employees, including teachers, guidance counselors, psychologists, media specialists, occupational therapists, physical therapists and speech and hearing clinicians, have reached a tentative agreement for the FY12 (2011-12) and FY13 (2012-13) school years.
Today, a tentative agreement for FY13 was signed by representatives of the school system and HCEA. The one?year tentative contract between the two organizations encompasses the 2012-13 school year, which will begin July 1, 2012, and end June 30, 2013.
This tentative agreement, which is currently being shared with members of the Board of Education of Harford County and with the members of HCEA, includes a step increase for eligible employees, a one percent (1%) Cost of Living Adjustment (COLA) and a longevity increment.
HCEA also tentatively agreed to a Memorandum of Understanding (MOU) that resolves the outstanding 2011-12 collective bargaining issues. The MOU provides for a bonus day for the 2011-12 school year, therefore the last day for teachers will be Wednesday, June 13, 2012.
Despite the lack of funding for a wage increase from fiscal authorities, the Board agreed to fund the increases through significant reductions in staffing and other programmatic areas throughout the budget to include professional development, overtime, meetings and conferences and equipment. “The Board is pleased to provide our employees with an increase in salary as they are the heart of this organization and so deserving,” said Dr. Leonard D. Wheeler, Board president. “Working with a budget shortfall this year, it was imperative that we carefully analyzed the budget to make strategic and thoughtful reductions in order to provide a salary increase for our employees. However, with approximately 85 percent of our budget dedicated to people, it is impossible to make cuts without realizing an impact on the classroom.”
As a result of the FY13 Board agreement, members of the four other bargaining units (Harford County Educational Services Council [HCESC]; the Association of Public School Administrators and Supervisors of Harford County [APSASHC]; the Association of Harford County Administrative, Technical and Supervisory Professionals [AHCATSP]; and the American Federation of State, County and Municipal Employees [AFSCME]) will also receive the step increase, COLA and longevity increment for eligible employees.
Information regarding the collective bargaining process can be found on the school system website at www.hcps.org by clicking on the ‘Board’ tab.
From the Harford County Education Association:
After a long and arduous process, the Harford County Education Association has reached a tentative agreement with the Harford County Board of Education on language and salary enhancements for teachers.
The tentative agreement signed today includes several improvements in contract language and, most significantly, a one percent cost of living allowance, a step on the salary scale for eligible teachers and longevity increases for more experienced teachers. These changes will go into effect on July 1, 2012.
Teachers’ eligibility for longevity pay will be based on years of service, whether or not a step increase was granted in any of those years.
An agreement was made that the teachers’ last duty day of the 2011-2012 school year will be Wednesday, June 13.
The tentative agreement will not go into effect after ratification by HCEA members and approval by the Board of Education. The Board of Education plans to adopt a budget containing the negotiated pay increases at its June 11 meeting. HCEA members will vote on ratification of the tentative agreement in their schools on Tuesday June 12 and Wednesday June 13.
HCEA President Randy Cerveny thanked the Board for returning to the table and bargaining in good faith. “Make no mistake: this agreement came about because of the involvement and advocacy of the teachers of Harford County. They refused to remain silent in the face of threats to the quality of education for Harford County students and stood up for their right to be compensated as professionals.”
Statement from County Executive David R. Craig Regarding a Proposed Settlement between the Harford County Board of Education
and the Harford County Education Association
From Harford County government:
Harford County Executive David R. Craig issued the following statement regarding the proposed settlement between the Harford County Board of Education and the Harford County Education Association:
“I want to congratulate Dr. Leonard Wheeler, President of the Board of Education, Vice President Rick Grambo, all members of the Board of Education of Harford County and Dr. Robert Tomback, Superintendent of Schools for their tireless efforts in obtaining a tentative agreement between the Board and HCEA. The collective bargaining process has been a difficult one, but in the end, the Board found the funds within their budget to provide for a modest pay raise and longevity pay for those eligible teachers of Harford County Public Schools.
The collective bargaining process as established under Maryland law is a matter between the school system and their respective bargaining units. The County Executive is not involved in the collective bargaining process for teachers or other employees of the school system and therefore cannot be involved in this settlement.
The proposed 1% pay raise, plus Step and longevity pay will cost the Board of Education approximately $10 million. Although our teachers undoubtedly deserve a fair pay raise, this proposal also comes with a cost – the loss of both administrative and teaching positions. I must also stress, that none of this raise will be paid for outside of the Board’s FY 2013 budget. Thus, no additional funding was needed from the taxpayers of Harford County to support this negotiated pay raise for teachers and staff.
I felt confident throughout this budget process that the Board of Education would find the money within their allotted budget to provide for this pay raise for eligible teachers and staff.
Since taking office as County Executive in 2005, I have consistently funded the Board of Education at unprecedented levels above the required Maintenance of Effort. In FY 2013, the Board’s budget was increased by nearly $1 million more than Maintenance of Effort, while the State of Maryland was reducing their level of funding to the county school system.
Hopefully the Board of Education and Harford County Education Association can move forward in a collaborative manner and put this issue behind them for the betterment of the education of our children and grandchildren”.