Bargaining has continued since the most recent update. On January 3rd, a subcommittee of the negotiating teams spent the entire day together working on salaries and seeking a way to make best use of resources believed to be available and to make a recommendation to the teams in their entirety. The teams are scheduled to meet for another day-long session tomorrow, January 10th, to review the work of the subcommittee. Further sessions are scheduled for January 22nd and January 31st.
To date as anticipated, virtually all of the substantive work has been done on salaries in order to meet a self-imposed deadline.
In earlier sessions, the teams agreed to self-impose a deadline for a salary settlement of December 31st. It was the anticipation of the TAAAC team to have at least an agreement on salary (albeit tentative) even though there would be many other items unsettled in order for meaningful supportive testimony to be given before the Board of Education during the public hearings on the budget. As everyone is well aware, we have not yet found sufficient common ground to construct such an agreement.
The deadline is now January 31st, the last negotiation session before the Board’s February 6th meeting and our next Association Representative Council. We have intentionally added two additional bargaining dates onto the original calendar in an effort to meet that deadline.
Progress is being made and we hope to speed up that progress in tomorrow’s session.
BUDGET HEARING REMINDER
Tomorrow, January 10th, the second of two public hearings on the Superintendent’s recommended Budget is being held at 7:00 PM in the Boardroom of the AACPS Central Office Building. TAAAC President, Richard Benfer will be presenting testimony on behalf of Unit 1 employees. It is also likely that some educators will be there as well to tell their own stories of hardship they’ve endured due to the loss of promised experience steps. Two colleagues gave personal accounts of financial hardships and the necessity of secondary employment that may squeeze them out of the profession, or at least out of the AACPS.
The amount of $16.57 million is set aside for salary and wage enhancements in the recommended budget. We need the members of the Board to understand that any reduction to that amount will only cause us further harm. We are asking available members to join us at tomorrow’s hearing to support Richard and other colleagues who may stand to tell their stories.
To those of you who also wish to give some personal testimony, the sign-up sheet is made available at 6:00PM and testimony is limited to three minutes.