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MCPS, Union reach tentative agreement on pay increases

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Published on: Thursday, March 14, 2013

By Donna Broadway

Negotiations between MCPS and the Montgomery County Educators Association, the Service Employees International Union Local 500, and the Montgomery County Association of Administrators and Principals ended on Monday with a tentative agreement.

In the new agreement, all employees eligible for step increases in FY14 will move up one step, all employees not receiving a step increase will have their base pay increased by two percent and there will not be a change in pay rates for substitute or home and hospital teachers.

All changes will go into effect on Feb. 8, 2014.

“Of course we didn’t get everything we wanted, there wasn’t enough money, but we don’t negotiate like that. We use interest-based bargaining, and we have a tentative agreement,” said Edye Miller, executive director of the MCAAP.  

The implementation of the negotiated changes will cost an estimated $18.9 million in FY14. The board of education approved Superintendent Joshua Starr’s $2.7 billion FY14 operating budget on Feb. 26 with $12.4 million allotted for teacher salaries and $6 million allocated for pay pending negotiations.

Christopher Honey, communications director for SEIU 500, whose members include supporting services professionals, such as maintenance, bus drivers, media assistants and cafeteria workers, said the negotiations are a step in the right direction.

“Dating back to the recession, a lot of sacrifices were made and there is no way to undo that in a single contract, but they are on the right track. This agreement respects the collaborative relationship SEIU 500 has with the school system,” Honey said.

The unions are currently going through a ratification process in which the members will vote on the agreement. If the agreement is rejected, the unions will go back into negotiations.

MCAAP hopes to have their process concluded by March 13, while MCEA hopes to finish by March 21 and the SEIU 500 is aiming for March 26. The board of education will vote on the agreement by the end of the month.

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