The Board of Education and its two employee groups – the Education Association of Charles County (EACC) and the American Federation of State, County and Municipal Employees (AFSCME) – signed contracts Tuesday for the 2013-14 school year.
The contracts include a one-step increase for eligible employees, but do not include a cost-of-living adjustment. Costs for health care insurance will not increase, but will be re-examined in January when the benefit period renews itself for the January through December calendar year. Any recommended changes will begin in January 2014.
Highlights from the EACC contract include:
- All eligible employees will receive one step, and includes teachers, and administrative and supervisory staff.
- Any employee not eligible for a step or is at the top of their pay scale will receive up to a $1,000 one-time payment by mid-November. Employees can also choose to put the one-time payment in a tax-deferred account.
- Compression of the teacher salary scale will continue.
- Rates on the extra duty pay scale increase by 2 percent.
- A committee is planned to study administrative and supervisory scales in comparison to other counties and the current pay scale structure. Results will be forwarded to the Board of Education and the Superintendent of Schools.
Highlights from the AFSCME contract include:
- All eligible employees will receive a one-step and grade increase.
- Any employee who is at a step 16 and above will receive a one-time payment of up to $300 by mid-November. Only employees hired as of June 30, 2013 are eligible for the one-time payment. No support staff hired on or after July 1, 2013 is eligible.
- A committee is planned to study certifications support employees can obtain to enhance their work skills above the requirements for their position, and will examine possible salary enhancements associated with the certification, if funding is available.
Keith Hettel, assistant superintendent of human resources, said the negotiations with both groups went smoothly. “Both negotiating teams were very fair and understood the constraints the Board of Education is under because of minimal funding. It was the Board's objective not to fall further behind with employee steps and to make sure everyone received compensation, either one-time or permanent,” Hettel said.
The cost of a step increase is $4.4 million and covers both the EACC and AFSCME contracts. Also included is the two percent increase for extra-duty pay and scale compression for the EACC contract and the one-time payment for both employee groups.
Charles County Public Schools provides 26,700 students in grades prekindergarten through 12 with an academically challenging education. Located in Southern Maryland, Charles County Public Schools has 35 caring community schools that offer a technologically advanced, progressive and high quality education that builds character, equips for leadership and prepares students for life, careers and higher education.