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.
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:
- 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.
- 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.”
- More actions to follow.
Below are the highlights of the mediator’s offer of settlement as it currently stands.