One Day to Ratification

Board to Ratify Tentative Agreement with TAAAC on October 21st

TAAAC’s Tentative Agreement is on the agenda for Wednesday’s meeting of the Board of Education. TAAAC members are asked to come to the meeting and join colleagues not to speak against the Agreement but to tell the Board and its audience individual stories of how the annual underfunding of education has impacted them, their families, and their students. The meeting begins at 7:00PM. Sign-up cards are placed outside of the boardroom at 6:00PM. Those who do not want to speak are encouraged to come in support of those who do.

PLEASE WEAR “TAAAC BLUE” OR SCHOOL COLORS.

WHY THE IMPASSE PROCESS WAS REQUIRED

In short, impasse occurred because the parties were unable to reach an agreement voluntarily. They were apart on: step increases, salary increases, extra- instructional pay, extra-curricular stipends, challenged school stipends, heavier involvement of department chairs in the observation process, salary continuation while awaiting disposition of disciplinary matters, resignations during the year, planning time, and number of duty days. All of these topics were remaining even after 10 months of negotiations. Neither had any flexibility left in its respective positions. A bona fide impasse existed. The parties only needed the Public School Labor Relations Board (PSLRB) to recognize it, and a joint submission was made to the PSLRB and the parties’ “best and last” offers were docketed. Mediation is mandatory, and the parties squeezed 24 hours of mediation into two days and the Tentative Agreement (TA) resulted. It was ratified by TAAAC’s governing body on October 7th.

The ratification was successful not because every Association Representative thought the TA provided everything local educators wanted and needed, but because the AR’s understood that it was the best deal available in light of the cuts made to the Board’s budget request by County Executive Schuh. TAAAC’s first priority was a step increase, and other items with price tags were secondary. Sadly, even using money that had been intended to fund other items, the closest settlement to a step increase was a 2% across-the-board raise. There just was not enough available after the County Executive cut the Board’s request for compensation increases by 60%.

IF THE BOARD DOES NOT RATIFY

If the motion to ratify the TA receives less than five votes from those Board members present Wednesday night we will no longer have a TA. The matter would find its way back to the PSLRB and the mediator. It is likely the Board will continue the terms and conditions of employment from FY2015 as it done so far, but there is some concern that the Board could and might impose something else.

STATUS OF AACPS NEGOTIATIONS

There are four represented bargaining units in the AACPS. They are listed below by organization name and community of interest represented:

  • Unit 1, virtually all certificated educators who are not administrators, represented by TAAAC
  • Unit 2, administrators from assistant principals up through coordinators, represented by the Association of Educational Leaders (AEL)
  • Unit 3, classified staff in food service, transportation, maintenance and operations, represented by American Federation of State County and Municipal Employees (AFCSME), Local 1693.
  • Unit 4, secretaries, teaching assistants, permanent substitutes and other education paraprofessionals, represented by Secretaries and Assistants Association of Anne Arundel County (SAAAAC).

I was informed this morning that Unit 3 has reached a settlement. Details are not yet available.