From the Harford County Education Association:
Labor Board Rules on Renegotiations
Thursday November 17, HCEA was handed a huge win from the Labor Board supporting our collective bargaining rights. Specifically, the Labor Board determined renegotiations did not occur consistent with the principles of good faith bargaining; therefore, the parties have been ordered back to the bargaining table as demanded by HCEA. Before returning, however, the Labor Board has asked that the parties brief the question of what funds are to be utilized to meet the negotiated agreement. This process will be overseen by the Labor Board.
HCEA is happy that additional funding is available, as announced by the County Executive, for our teachers and wants to make sure that the funds are distributed through the collective bargaining process. If we allow the County Executive to circumvent the bargaining law and issue “bonuses” we are diminishing the win before the Labor Board and eroding our rights under the law as well as our ability to fund the negotiated agreement. The County Executive’s proposal to bypass the Board of Education and collective bargaining sets a very dangerous precedent for the future. Such a precedent would mean a much-reduced voice for educators in determining pay scales and health benefits. By agreeing to the conditions set forth by the County Executive, HCEA would be going outside of the very bargaining laws that we’ve fought so very hard to enforce AND, in fact, we now clearly have a Labor Board that supports our efforts to enforce those laws.
We must support the collective bargaining process, which provides us with compensation and benefits in a way that is fair, dependable, and has the input of employees. As we’ve seen in Wisconsin, Ohio, and other places across the nation, this is just another attempt to divide employees and strip us of our collective power. The tactics of the County Executive are nothing more than an effort to buy us off and take control from us. HCEA is committed to fighting for an equitable and legal distribution of these funds. Additionally, HCEA is committed to fighting for the original agreement made between the union and the Board of Education in January, which thus far has been a string of broken promises by the Board of Education due to the county’s underfunding.