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HCPSS, HCEA and HCEA-ESP Announce Tentative Agreements

August 3rd, 2021

The Howard County Public School System (HCPSS) and the Howard County Education Association certificated unit (HCEA) and its educational support professionals unit (HCEA-ESP) announced today that they have reached one-year tentative agreements covering the 2021-2022 school year. The agreements will go into effect retroactively from the start of the fiscal year, which began on July 1, 2021, upon ratification and funding approval.

“Howard County educators and support staff are highly qualified and exceptionally dedicated, and have worked tirelessly to provide the best possible learning experience and meet students’ escalating needs in response to the pandemic,” said Superintendent Michael J. Martirano. “I am pleased that this collaborative agreement will provide added support for the employees whom we entrust with the responsibility for our students’ education and care.”

Both agreements include revised salary scales, reflecting the shared goals of both organizations to increase compensation for teachers and support staff. Partial funding for the negotiated agreements is included in the school system’s FY 2022 operating budget and the remaining funding will be appropriated from the school system’s unassigned General Fund fund balance, subject to final county legislative approval.

“Over the last year and a half, HCPSS staff have tirelessly committed themselves to the students and families they serve. These agreements recognize that hard work, and they represent a small step toward repairing relations between the Board of Education, Administration and Staff. We hope that leaders in County Government and HCPSS will also begin working together this year to allocate the funds needed to reach the goals of the Blueprint for Maryland’s Future,” said Colleen Morris, HCEA President.

“The quality of our great school system is the direct outcome of the hard work, talent, and expertise of our excellent staff,” said Board of Education Chair Dr. Chao Wu. “Although there have been many challenges, I am pleased that our collaborative process has resulted in an agreement that recognizes their vital work.”

HCEA will hold a ratification vote on the agreements between August 24 – August 31, 2021. The Board of Education is scheduled to ratify and sign the agreement during the September 2, 2021 Board of Education meeting.