Thank you, to all who took the time to join the picketing. The demonstrators made the WBAL 11:00 news. The news spot is on the WBAL website and can be viewed at the following link.
As most are aware, the picketing preceded a Town Hall meeting held by County Executive Steve Schuh. On the news spot, Mr. Schuh proudly declares that Anne Arundel County salaries are very competitive around the state and that the average “teacher” earns about $65,000. Well, we might be a bit more competitive IF our local educators were on their appropriate step, but even then Anne Arundel could not compete with Montgomery, Howard, Calvert, or even Baltimore City. Most of us are not on the appropriate step, but rather four years behind. When the four and a half years of steps being cut from the budget are taken into consideration, in real life some of our salaries are behind those of colleagues in surrounding districts by tens of thousands.
It should also be noted that the average ten-month teacher’s salary projected for FY2016 is approximately $57,800. Based upon the number used in the news spot, it appears that Mr. Schuh may have included a sizable group of six-figure earners who are not “teachers; a substantive error when computing an average teacher salary.
Local educators have generated 2,153 email messages to the County Executive and Council. To those of you who made the contacts, “Thank you.” To those who have not done so, please do. Perhaps you have a friend who teaches in one of our surrounding counties who may we willing to share her salary with you for comparison. Mr. Schuh would be interested in the results.
The TAAAC Negotiating Team has put twelve items related to workload on the bargaining table. We are having difficulty getting any movement on them. We are interested in putting together a list of duties that really are not terribly necessary when compared to other needs, like time to plan and prepare a lesson or give extra help to a struggling student. It would be helpful if members would identify for me any tasks or duties required in their schools and worksites that could be eliminated without substantive harm to educators, students or program.
We anticipate an above average number of absences on this coming Monday. Please accept this reminder about the reduction in schedule or workload available to those who cover colleagues’ classes. The two pertinent provisions in the Negotiated Agreement are pasted below:
Substitutes shall normally be provided for all teachers absent from their regular teaching assignment including art, music, media specialists and physical education. Only after reasonable but unsuccessful efforts to obtain substitutes shall the principal assign teachers to other teachers’ classes during their non-teaching periods.
Except in an emergency which occurs during the school day, no teacher shall be required to take a class for another teacher unless the teacher requested to take the class is given a reduced schedule or work load within the next five (5) work days. Substitutes shall be provided for teachers involved in field trips, athletic events or professional meetings approved by the appropriate administrator, provided the event is scheduled for a half day or more and funds are appropriated for this purpose.
When an uncovered vacancy causes a class of students to be divided among other teachers for the entire school day, the receiving teachers will each receive one (1) hour of compensatory in which the incidence occurs. Utilization of that leave will be arranged between the teachers and principal or supervisor.
There is a form you may use to make the appropriate request on: DOWNLOAD FORM
If there are problems or questions, please call TAAAC.