Word is spreading in Harford County Public Schools that a possible 2-day furlough for employees is being negotiated now by representatives of the Harford County Board of Education and the Harford County Education Association (HCEA). While local funding for the school system’s operations is expected to remain flat for next year, state operating funds are expected to decline by at least $3.2 million, creating a need for cost savings.
Sources not involved in the negotiations say that if the furlough days do occur, they would likely include all employees and not be limited to teachers. Unlike Harford County Government, which may shut down for up to 5 furlough days next year, sources say that Harford County Public Schools would not shut down on days when students are supposed to be in school (sorry, kids). Rather, the days could be taken during paid professional development when students are off, but teachers and other employees are normally on duty.
Currently, neither side in the ongoing negotiations is talking. HCEA President Randy Cerveny said both sides had agreed not to comment publicly and was surprised that an ABC2News report said the school board was considering the furloughs.
Officially, Harford County Public Schools released the following statement:
The Board of Education of Harford County is currently involved in a collective bargaining process with the Harford County Educator’s Association. We cannot discuss details of the negotiation process at this time.
Cerveny also said that he had asked teachers to come out to the school board meeting tonight (Monday), but that it had “nothing to do with the negotiations”, it was about respect for the job teachers do. Cerveny said that teachers had “more and more put on their plate” without being given additional time and said teachers in general were “frustrated about the lack of input over the job they do day to day”.