At the Table: We are at Impasse

May 07, 2024

The team met with AACPS on Monday of this week and unfortunately, we have reached impasse in our negotiations. The team did not reach this decision lightly, but we knew it was the right decision based on AACPS’s latest counter-proposal.

We knew that insurance had to be addressed, we were willing to do our part to bridge the gap in the fund balance and contribute more to the overall premium based on rapidly rising costs and the desire by our membership to maintain the level of benefits we have come to enjoy and remain AACPS employees. The primary reason we are here is AACPS was unwilling to negotiate fair and equal value when it comes to compensation for the last two years of a proposed three-year contract. We had agreed to modest changes to the co-pays and a 1% increase to the employee premium share in each year for a total of 3% over 3 years, but AACPS refused to negotiate wages in the out years to mitigate the impact of that increase.

Another factor in our decision was the County Executive’s decision to not fund the Superintendent’s recommended 5% wage increase; only funding to 3% and a step. While 3% is not a terrible COLA, AACPS’s last proposal included a 2% increase in employee premium share this fiscal year. This was not something on which we could agree. AACPS’s proposals also included a 1% increase in premium share next year and 2% in the final year of the contract for a total of 5%. They were unwilling to commit to wages in the final 2 years of the contract while we proposed 6% and 7% COLA’s in the out years.

We are disappointed to be at this point since we thought we had the framework of a deal when we agreed to the change in co-pays and increases in premium for each year of the contract, but we could not make financial commitments over 3 years if AACPS was not willing to make a financial commitment to us.

While we are pleased that we are continuing work on changes that will give our members more planning time, we simply did not get enough of the other changes we were looking for in working conditions (in addition to the financial package) to feel we had something worthy to bring to you for your consideration.

We will still leave the door open to get something done as we pivot to impasse proceedings, but we are prepared to bring our case to the new Public Employee Relations Board (PERB) to achieve a fair contract that works for both sides.

Since we are at impasse, we are now able to share our proposals with you. Please click here to see our initial 45 proposals. AACPS did not engage us much in what we put on the table but each proposal we brought had a purpose that we felt deserved to be addressed. While we did not expect to get everything we put on the table, we had hoped we would have a dialogue that could have led to solutions to problems we know exist for you in your schools.

We are asking every member to sign THIS PETITION to ask the Board to settle now. We will keep you informed as we move to mediation and potentially arbitration.

In Solidarity

The Team

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Sign our petition! End Impasse now!