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HCPSS Announces Two-Year Agreements with Employee Bargaining Units

May 23rd, 2018

The Howard County Public School System (HCPSS) has reached tentative agreements with the Howard County Administrators Association (HCAA) and the American Federation of State, County and Municipal Employees (AFSCME) for two-year employment contracts. Both agreements cover the 2018–2019 school year with limited openers for the 2019–2020 school year. HCAA represents school administrators and other certificated school and system leaders, and AFSCME represents custodial, maintenance, grounds and warehouse employees.

The agreements are the outcome of collaborative effort on the part of the negotiating teams to develop contracts that are appropriate to the critical role played by these HCPSS staff members while feasible in the light of the fiscal pressures currently facing the county.

“Our school and curriculum leaders and facilities staff work incredibly hard, and their dedicated efforts are essential to our smooth and effective operations,” said Interim Superintendent Michael J. Martirano. “It is gratifying that despite budget limitations, we were able to collaborate productively toward providing an appropriate level of compensation and other supports that acknowledge their vital work.”

Subject to ratification by association membership, both contracts provide for the equivalent of a mid-year step salary increase in the first year of the contract period. Salary and other compensation provisions will be open for discussion for the second year. The current employee health benefits plan program will be maintained through 2020.

Other provisions provide for an additional day of personal leave for members of both groups, bringing the annual total to four days for HCAA members, and three days for AFSCME members. Both groups also agreed to changes to the language of their respective documents to provide for greater consistency among all HCPSS employee bargaining unit contracts.

“We are glad that we successfully came to an agreement that will provide increased compensation for our members, and we appreciate the Board’s willingness to maintain the current level of benefits,” said Robert Coleman, AFSCME President.

“Considering how difficult this negotiation cycle has been due to inherited budget deficits, HCAA believes that what is being proposed is fair for our members,” said Edward Cosentino, HCAA president.

“Our outstanding administrators and facilities staff are fundamental to the success of our students and schools, and I am pleased that we are able to provide a compensation package that acknowledges their essential roles,” said Board of Education Chairman Cynthia Vaillancourt. “I commend all participants in the negotiation process for their collaborative work in crafting these agreements.”

The Board of Education will ratify and sign the agreements during an upcoming Board meeting.