TAAAC News

Bargaining Update: Highlights from the Mediator Report


Aug 05, 2022

Where we are?

On Friday, July 22, Mediator David Vaughn submitted an “offer of settlement” to TAAAC and AACPS after the two bargaining teams could not agree on our contract. An “offer of settlement” summarizes the agreed-upon and unresolved issues.

The first issue unresolved between the Parties is planning time, which teachers and the Union on their behalf consider extremely important for effective teaching and working conditions.
The expired agreement provides for 210 minutes of planning time per week. The Union asserts that teachers, in fact, receive 240 minutes per week on an extra-contractual basis but with the support of school-level administration and sought to increase the contractual weekly planning time to 240 minutes. The Board does not dispute the importance of planning time, and proposed to keep contractually protected planning time at the current level of 210 minutes per week. It denies that all teachers receive 240 minutes of planning time per week.

~David Vaughn

What’s at stake?

For TAAAC, the primary unresolved issue relates to non-professional duties. Our contract currently states educators will be assigned no more than 20 minutes per day of non-professional duties or up to 100 minutes per week. Due to the increase in vacancies (418 according to the current AACPS count), and the Board’s concern that students will not be sufficiently supervised, they proposed an increase to 30 minutes per day, and up to 150 minutes per week. Mr. Vaughn’s recommendation was as follows:

Article 14A – Duties Not Contributing to Teaching – non-professional duties will not exceed 120 minutes per week.

What has been done?

The TAAAC bargaining team argued our planning time will be cut with this increase, and that educators have been able to keep our students safe with the shortages in previous years. We keep our students safe every day. Over 1,000 TAAAC members, parents, and community supporters agreed and signed a petition in solidarity to #Protect and Respect our time as educators.

What happens next?

The TAAAC bargaining team made a final proposal to AACPS, asking for the 120-minute proposal to be a 1-year Memorandum of Understanding (MOU), instead of permanent contract language. AACPS can agree to this until we meet with the Public School Labor Relations Board in late August/early September. At that point, both TAAAC and AACPS will argue in “arbitration” for our last-best-and-final offer.

Here are our next steps:

  1. Our new TAAAC President Nicole Disney-Bates is meeting with Board of Education members to determine if they would be willing to sign the MOU.
  2. New Superintendent Dr. Mark Bedell starts on Monday, August 8. Click here to record and share a welcome video message that will be compiled and sent to him. Use the script “Welcome, Dr. Bedell! My name is _____, I am an educator at _____, and I’m excited to work with you to improve my working conditions and students’ learning conditions.”
  3. More actions to follow.

Below are the highlights of the mediator’s offer of settlement as it currently stands.

Wins


NEW

Continue class coverage pay MOU through FY23

Article 3Y

NEW

Extension of MOU for $10 differential related to learning loss programs and exclusive use of ESSER funds expires August 31, 2024, or when the grant funding is exhausted, expires, or if the costs are otherwise deemed to be ineligible, whichever comes first.

NEW

MOU to pay a total not to exceed $1,500 Leads grant stipend (prorated by FTE) to special educators and related service providers over a twoyear period beginning in FY23 through FY24.

Article 3

Salary and Other Compensation

For FY23, a one (1) step increase for eligible employees and 4% COLA; continue the pre-existing $1,000 NBC stipends for counselors and $2000 psychologists through FY24 subject to the expansion of Blueprint eligibility requirements to include counselors and psychologists for NBC pay.

Article 9C

Reimbursement for College Credit

Workgroup to review the program, including credits per year to be reimbursed and the rate.

Article 23B

Rehired Retired Teachers

Eliminate earnings cap and apply existing contract language for new hires.

Article 24

Duration of the Agreement

Enter into a 2-year agreement with compensation/healthcare, review and evaluate the extension of the class coverage MOU, Blueprint requirements through FY24, and one (1) reopener per party.

Blueprint

As part of the duration provision, the Agreement will include the following language to reflect the commitment of the Parties: AACPS is committed to structured collaboration with TAAAC, the exclusive bargaining representative, relating to the implementation of the Blueprint requirements. As part of this agreement, TAAAC representatives will be included on Blueprint committees including but not limited to early childhood education, career ladder development, and college and career readiness pathways.

Concessions


Article 11C

Planning Time

Current language. A jointly formed workgroup to study schedules for individual planning time on all levels with a view toward increasing planning time beyond the 210 minute contractual provision. TAAAC shall select a member to serve as its co-chair; and the Board shall select a member to serve as its co-chair. All workgroup reports, research, proposals or recommendations shall be presented to both negotiating teams before FY25 negotiations or October 2023, whichever occurs first. The workgroup’s first meeting shall commence on or before September 30, 2022.

Article 14A

Duties Not Contributing to Teaching

Non-professional duties will not exceed 120 minutes per week.

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