LA PLATA, Md. (June 11, 2009)—The Board of Education and its two employee groups signed contracts Tuesday that do not include salary increases for the coming year, but leave open the possibility of re-opening negotiations in January.
School employees will not receive cost-of-living, step, grade or scale compression increases, according to the contracts accepted by the Education Association of Charles County (EACC) and the American Federation of State, County and Municipal Employees (AFSCME). The Board agreed to discuss possible salary increases in January if funding circumstances change. Revisions in the contracts include workload and benefit issues, including several temporary changes.
"We feel this is the fairest package we were able to negotiate given the economic times and within the funding we received from the county and state this year," said Keith Hettel, assistant superintendent of human resources.
Other EACC contract highlights include:
-- Teachers will work one less day next school year. This is a one-year only change, and teachers will start one day later than planned in August. Teachers also gain one additional personal leave day for next school year.
-- The Board agreed to reduce the number of years from 15 to 10 that a certificated employee must work before becoming eligible to receive payment for sick leave. Employees are now eligible for a payout of a maximum of 90 days of sick leave if they retire after 10 years of service.
-- County tuition will be waived for children of certificated employees attending Charles County Public Schools. Policies for accepting students into specific schools remain the same.
-- A joint study committee will review the use of federal stimulus money to address workload of case managers.
-- Math, Engineering and Science Achievement (MESA) sponsors will be provided extra-duty pay.
Highlights of the AFSCME contract include:
-- Classified staff will work one less day next school year. This is a single-year benefit that will be scheduled in December during the winter break.
-- At retirement, the number of years required for sick leave payout is reduced from 15 years to 10 years.
-- County tuition will be waived for children of classified employees attending Charles County Public Schools.
Source: Charles County public school system