Empowered Educators, Successful Students, Connected Communities
Summary: Anne Arundel County educators deserve to have financial security equivalent to that of other counties. While a 4% COLA and 1 step for all Unit 1 members is a fantastic starting point for this upcoming fiscal year, annual budget negotiations leave educators without the ability to plan for future years. Our students deserve educators who can focus solely on them while in the classroom, not dividing their attention to concerns around how they will afford to live in our county.
- Have you worked in another county where you don’t have to worry about what your contract will look like from year to year?
- How would you and your family be able to plan for future years if you had a multi-year contract?
- How would your current and future students benefit from your ability to plan longer-term?
- What could you give back to the community if you knew your salary kept up with the cost of living over two or three years?
WHY THIS MATTERS: This past year, we secured a major milestone for our unit by resolving the experience credit issue that caused a decade-long wage inequity between members. Educators are now shown the respect they deserve for their years of service to our county. It is a step toward retaining educators, and not losing them to surrounding counties or to other professions entirely. Taking the step to funding our salaries over a longer-term is the next way we can show educators respect for their devotion to our students and school communities.
THE ASK: Prioritize funding in this budget that promises a consistent wage package for our unit for longer than one year.
- How does a 1% COLA this year impact you?
- What were you able to do with your family in previous years when you received a 4-6% COLA?
- How would an additional 1% (bringing COLA to 5%) help you better support your students?
- Why should the community support an additional 1%?
- How could this funding be used to support your job category? ELL? SPED?
WHY THIS MATTERS: A 4% COLA benefits our entire union. Now that we resolved the experience credit issue, this goes toward both retaining our early career educators, as well as supporting our veteran educators on the top of the scale who have been left out in recent years. We are stronger when we are able to move forward together. However, with CPI above 6% this is still leaving the education profession weaker than professions requiring similar experience or education. Our county, as with districts across the county, is facing a hiring shortage as we are not able to recruit new educators when current employees retire. We need to be bold in our actions to recruit more educators by increasing our COLA
THE ASK: Increase the COLA to 5% to support recruitment and retention of educators in our county.
ARP + Blueprint Transparency
- What do students in your classroom need most?
- What support could additional funding give to families in your school community to allow your students to have better learning outcomes?
- How would your professional life benefit if you had started your career with the supports proposed in the blueprint?
WHY THIS MATTERS: Surrounding counties are operating in coordination with their unions to gather input prior to decision making. As educators are the experts in our schools on everything from building infrastructure to the social-emotional wellness needs of our students and their families, our leaders must rely on our voices to know how to best prioritize funding for our schools. Transparency on how funding from the federal government is used, as well as the implementation of the Blueprint should first include collaboration from educators.
THE ASK: Work with us to reach the goals set by ARP and Blueprint.
Reallocation of FY23 funds to TAAAC priorities
- Due to the return of FY22 funds to the instructional salary and wages line item, Unit 1 educators are being brought up to their correct experience credit. How has been made whole impacted you personally and professionally?
WHY THIS MATTERS: Every year, there is additional funding in our county’s budget that is often allocated away from instructional salaries and wages. Educators deserve the funds allocated to them in the budget, whether for salaries and wages or for other priorities which they have identified.
THE ASK: Keep funding allocated to the instructional salary and wages line item there and disperse it with input from the unions.