The Montgomery County Board of Education Thursday (March 21, 2013) approved amended agreements for Fiscal Year (FY) 2014 with the three Montgomery County Public Schools (MCPS) employee associations.
The agreements have been ratified by the members of the Montgomery County Education Association (MCEA) and the Montgomery County Association of Administrators and Principals (MCAAP). The Service Employees International Union (SEIU) Local 500 agreement is in the process of ratification, and votes will be counted on March 26. The Board of Education approved this tentative agreement contingent on ratification by the membership of SEIU Local 500.
Under the amended contracts, eligible MCPS employees will receive a step or longevity increase, effective on February 8, 2014. Employees who are not eligible for a step or longevity increase will receive a 2 percent salary increase, effective February 8, 2014. All other provisions in the current collective bargaining agreement remain in effect for FY 2014.
“I believe this is a fair agreement that recognizes the outstanding contributions of our staff, while acknowledging the current economic realities,” said Board of Education President Christopher S. Barclay. “I appreciate the continued collaboration between the Board, MCPS and our employee associations.”
The salary increases will cost $18.6 million in FY 2014, money that was set aside in the operating budget request that the Board approved in February.
“I want to thank everyone who was involved in negotiating this agreement between MCPS and its staff,” said Superintendent of Schools Joshua P. Starr. “The relationship between MCPS and its employees associations is built on a mutual commitment to respect and interest-based bargaining that allows us to remain focused on meeting the needs of all students.”
All economic provisions will be subject to negotiations for FY 2015 as MCPS and the associations work on a new three-year contract.
“This year’s agreement lays the groundwork for future discussions about how our members are recognized, supported, and compensated for the excellent work they do every day,” said Douglas Prouty, president of MCEA, which represents more than 12,000 educators. “I look forward to continuing these conversations in the months to come as we seek to provide an outstanding education to the students of MCPS.”
“This contract recognizes the sacrifices made by supporting services employees during the downturn and enables them to plan for future financial needs,” said Merle Cuttitta, president of SEIU Local 500, which represents about 9,000 MCPS employees. “It respects the work of SEIU Local 500 members and their critical role in providing students with a world-class education.”
“This agreement not only values our members, but those who work with them and for them every day,” said Debra Mugge, president of MCAAP. “The collaborative relationship between MCPS and its employees bolsters our ability to recruit and retain the very best employees to our schools.”