The negotiations teams have met twice (April 5th and April 16th) since the last update. At the close of the last session an itemized list of the topics brought to the bargaining was reviewed. Cumulative TAAAC, Board, and Joint issues totaled fifty-two.
There is good news in that thirty have been disposed of by tentative agreement, withdrawal, or reassignment for resolution by a route other than formal negotiations. Among the thirty are items related to salary, evaluation process, evaluation timelines, achievement plans, transfer and excessing, assignment stipends, sick leave bank, and some modifications to the long-standing and inefficient negotiation procedures. On the other hand, there is still much work to be done and diminishing time remaining to complete it. That is, if we are going to have a contract to put up for a ratification vote by June’s Association Representative Council.
The teams have two full days of negotiations scheduled, April 30th and May 7th. During those sessions there will be plenty of topics left to put away, some quite significant. Among the twenty-two remaining are topics such as length of work year, back to school night, FMLA administration, planning time, tuition reimbursement, bereavement leave, Unit 1 employee rights and responsibilities, just cause, and others that make a difference in the life and livelihood of members.
The parties have agreed to remain at the table on May 7th for as long as it takes to finish whatever topics remain; or until we discover that we cannot reach a mutual agreement. Presuming an agreement is reached, there will be limited time to conduct the in-school balloting. So, we are putting together a process by which it may be conducted electronically. That should not only speed up the time required to conduct the vote, but also increase the return.
There are two public hearings on the Anne Arundel County Budget. TAAAC President, Richard Benfer will be giving testimony at the hearing scheduled for May 13th, 7:00pm, and the Arundel Center on Calvert Street in Annapolis. We are asking all available members to come and support Richard in Annapolis. The hearing starts at 7:00 and arrival by 6:30 should get you a seat in the Council Chambers. It would be great if all members who have TAAAC shirts or jackets would wear them. Others should wear something from their schools that serves to identify them as educators.
Members that will not be able to attend the hearing on May 13th will be welcome to attend the May 8th hearing at the Chesapeake Arts Center on Hammonds Lane in Brooklyn Park as an alternative. Vice-President, Ken Baughman will be presenting TAAAC’s testimony at 7:00pm at that location.
There are several members of the Council who made some hostile comments regarding the education budget earlier this year. Let’s have a crowd of educators present not just to support TAAAC’s elected officers, but also to witness any further such behavior, and remember it when November of 2014 rolls around.