PSLRB Determines Bargaining Impasse

TAAAC received written notice on June 8, 2016, that the Public School Labor Relations Board has determined an impasse exists on thirteen of the fourteen items for which impasse was requested in the negotiations between TAAAC and the local board of Education.

In accordance with Article 22E of the Negotiated Agreement between the Teachers Association of Anne Arundel County and the Board of Education of Anne Arundel County*, it is appropriate at this point to share descriptions of those items. They are provided below as last and best offers exchanged by each party. Please be reminded, these are proposals, none of which have been agreed to by both parties.

THE THIRTEEN ITEMS ON WHICH IMPASSE HAS BEEN DETERMINED INCLUDE:
FROM TAAAC
  • Article 9C5: Increase reimbursement from $250 to $350 per semester hour.
  • Article 3F: Move employees upward by one salary step in the start of the year, and a second at midyear.
  • Article 3: Provide additional stipend of $1,000 to social workers and related service providers who attain National Certification to reflect what is provided to School Counselors for NCSC. (new provision)
  • Article 11: Require no teacher in a secondary school to teach or otherwise supervise students for more than three (3) consecutive class periods. Require no teacher in an elementary school to teach or otherwise supervise students for more than three (3) consecutive hours without a comfort break. (new provision)
  • Article 3J: Increase extra-instructional pay from $25 to $30 per hour.
  • Article 3: Increase salary by 1% across-the-board (COLA).
  • Article 11: Provide substitutes on the four early student release days for professional development to elementary classroom teachers who would otherwise lose their individual planning time.
  • Article 9: Reimburse related service providers for the cost of CEU’s up to $1,500 per year to provide a similar benefit as that provided to other Unit I educators for semester hours.
FROM THE BOARD:
  • Article 17: Eliminate language allowing resignations during the year with 30-day notice, and enforce the May 1st and July 15th deadlines prescribed by the Regular Teacher Contract for non-tenured and tenured teachers, respectively.
  • Article 3F: Eliminate the experience credit reduction for new hires and…at the beginning of the 20118-19 school year each newly hired Unit I member shall be placed on the salary scale at the next step above the number of years of teaching experience for which credit has been given.
  • Article 3F: Eliminate the language from the negotiated agreement that provides for an annual step increase.
  • Article 1E: Eliminate selected language regarding the process for the Board to modify the composition of the bargaining unit (Unit I).
  • Article 16B: With specified guidelines, all department chairpersons and select Student Services Teacher Specialists assigned to central office shall conduct observations of Unit 1 employees and participate in the evaluation process within the department.

Regarding the thirteen items at impasse, negotiators from TAAAC and the Board will participate in mandatory meditations, and have five days from the determination date (June 6th) to begin the process of selecting a mediator.

The fourteenth item, on which no determination of impasse was made by the PSLRB, involved a proposal presented by the Board months after the window for new proposals had closed. The Board presented the proposal in reaction to a recent Circuit Court affirmation that the topic is within the mandatory scope of negotiations. The proposal would strip Unit I employees of the right to challenge whether “cause” existed for lower level disciplinary actions (such as reprimands and written warnings) by grievance. It is a topic that has already been negotiated between TAAAC and the Board and has been in the Negotiated Agreement since 1984. TAAAC refused to re-open negotiations on the topic.

TAAAC’s negotiating team initiated a grievance on the late proposal, pursuant to Article 22C of the current Negotiated Agreement. Said grievance is scheduled for arbitration on July 28th before a mutually selected arbitrator who will render a binding decision, unless the dispute is settled beforehand.

TERMS AND CONDITIONS OF EMPLOYMENT

At its meeting on June 22nd, the Board must take two related actions each of which will require affirmative votes from at least five members. It must adopt its fiscal year 2017 budget; and it must adopt terms and conditions of employment for all six employee groups (or “units’). In that none of the four represented units have reached a settlement with the Board, those terms and conditions of employment adopted are typically no more than a temporary continuation of those current, unless and until settlements are reached.

Updates will continue as the impasse process continues.

(Note)
*Article 22E. Confidentiality of Discussions

The content of negotiations discussions shall be regarded as confidential. There shall be no public announcement or press releases on the content of negotiations discussions prior to the (1) successful conclusion of negotiations or (2) impasse being declared by the Maryland Public School Labor Relations Board, unless by mutual agreement.

The above provision shall not prevent the Board team from seeking guidance from the Board and staff or the TAAAC team from seeking guidance from its members.