HCPSS and HCEA Ratify 2022-2023 Master Agreement
April 13th, 2022
The Howard County Public School System (HCPSS) and Howard County Education Association (HCEA) ratified their master agreement for the 2022-2023 school year at the Board of Education meeting on April 7, 2022. HCEA represents certificated and ESP (Educational Support Professionals) employees who serve the system in a non-supervisory role.
The agreement reflects months of collaborative effort on the part of the negotiating teams to develop a contract that acknowledges the essential role of HCPSS staff, while respecting the fiscal pressures currently facing the school system.
“I continue to be in awe of the ways our educators provide high levels of instruction and supports for all of our students, even during some of the most difficult times we have ever experienced as educators,” said HCPSS Superintendent, Dr. Michael Martirano. “I am grateful for the collaborative efforts of our negotiating teams and am pleased to have come to an agreement with our partners at HCEA that meets the needs of our hard-working staff who take care of our young people every day.”
Among other changes, the new agreement provides step and cost of living increases to employees and raises the starting salary for teachers to above $56,200 which represents an increase of over 12% from the current starting salary. Additionally, the new agreement clarifies language related to transfers, evaluation, and use of leave.
“Our phenomenal employees have always done a remarkable job educating and caring for our students, and the pandemic has only amplified their importance to our county,” said Board of Education Chair Vicky Cutroneo. “The enhancements made in this agreement are representative of the importance we place on attracting and keeping a highly qualified workforce. I am greatly appreciative of the collaborative efforts of Dr. Martirano, Ms. Morris and HCPSS and HCEA leadership who came together to craft this agreement.”
“We believe this contract will help attract and retain top-quality educators by establishing a $15/hour minimum hourly wage and by guaranteeing we will both meet and exceed the Blueprint salary expectations,” said HCEA President Colleen Morris. “Additional language improvements will also help by giving educators more time to ensure student success. Building supports for our special education community, as well as providing enough personnel to attend to our students’ social and emotional learning, also continues to be our top priority.”