Harford County Public Schools sent the following message to teachers on Thursday, May 24:
LAST DAY FOR TEACHERS ANNOUNCED – THURSDAY, JUNE 14
Negotiators for the Board of Education have twice met with representatives of the Harford County Education Association (HCEA) in the past week as part of court-ordered re-negotiations over the terms of its current (2011-2012) contract. As the original agreement, which would have included COLA and step increases for teachers, was not funded by the Harford County fiscal authorities, the Board was unable to agree to the HCEA’s singular demand of a retroactive COLA of two percent and a one-step increase.
The Board reiterated its previously made offer of a paid bonus day on the last day of school for teachers (June 14th), but the HCEA bargaining team rejected that offer, which means that we cannot provide the bonus day for teachers at this time. The HCEA bargaining team made no other proposals besides the two percent COLA increase and one step, retroactive to July 1, 2011. The Board’s negotiating team responded by indicating that there was no County funding available to pay for these demands, at which point the Union chose not to bargain any further, having made no other proposals.
At this time the matter remains unresolved and as such, the last workday for teachers is Thursday, June 14th. The last day for other 10-month employees, i.e. support employees in the HCESC bargaining unit, remains Wednesday, June 13th. All 12-month employees already received the bonus day which took place on December 27, 2011. If you have specific questions regarding your end-of-year schedule, please contact your immediate supervisor.
The following message was sent on May 24th by President Randy Cerveny to members of the Harford County Education Association, the union representing approximately 3,200 teachers in Harford County Public Schools.
Forced by court order, the Board of Education returned to the bargaining table with HCEA this week. The Board’s team came to the table without the authority to discuss any compensation issues. They told the HCEA team that they were not prepared to bargain over any financial issues whatsoever.
This means that, in the view of the Association, the Board of Education has not complied with the order of the Circuit Court to return to the table and bargain in good faith.
In response to the Board’s position, HCEA will immediately file a petition with the Public School Labor Relations Board, asking the Labor Board for a declaration of impasse.
If the Labor Board declares impasse, HCEA will proceed to mediation in an attempt to resolve financial issues with the assistance of a neutral mediator.
If HCEA is unsuccessful in reaching an agreement through mediation, HCEA will appeal to the Labor Board to issue a decision that will be binding on both parties, HCEA and the Board of Education.
County Exec Goes Back on Bonus
The County Executive has withdrawn his bill to provide $5.5 million for employee bonuses. He has done this under the pretense that recently passed state legislation requiring partial local funding of education employee pensions makes it impossible to meet his commitment to pay the promised bonus.
In actuality, the pension cost to the county for the next year is only $1.68 million – a far cry from the $5.5 million which employees were counting on to help make ends meet.
In addition to this $3.8 million dollar discrepancy in the county’s favor, the county will see more than an $11 million increase in revenue from income taxes next year, plus a $2.5 million increase in property tax. The county will also carry over $15.5 million in underestimated revenue from this current year into next year. This total of almost $33 million will cover the $1.68 million in pension costs plus the promised bonus with money left over.
To add insult to injury, the county currently has $96.8 million in its reserve fund.
Come to the County Council Hearing, Tuesday, May 29th, 7:30 PM
Council Chambers, 212 South Bond Street, Bel Air
Stand Up for Our Schools, Stand Up for our Students, Stand Up for Education