Board Approves Employee Contracts

February 13, 2007
Board of Education and Employee Associations Reach Agreement on Labor Contracts for the Next Three Years

The Board of Education voted Tuesday to approve new negotiated contracts with the three employee associations that provide salary increases over the next three years, call for a renewed commitment to collaboration, and address other working condition issues.

Montgomery County Public Schools (MCPS) employees will receive negotiated salary increases of 4.8 percent in Fiscal Year 2008, 5 percent in Fiscal Year 2009, and 5.3 percent in Fiscal Year 2010 under the new contracts between MCPS and the Montgomery County Education Association (MCEA), the Montgomery County Association of Administrative and Supervisory Personnel (MCAASP), and SEIU Local 500. The three associations represent teachers, principals and other school-based and central services administrators, and support professionals, respectively. The vote was seven to one for the SEIU and MCAASP contracts and six to two for MCEA.

“Our outstanding staff members are the key ingredient to the success of our students. I am pleased that we can reward their hard work with a commitment to increased wages over the next three years,” said Nancy Navarro, president of the Board of Education. “We must keep our wages competitive if we are going to attract the best to come here and stay here.”

“MCPS enjoys a strong working relationship with all three associations and that benefits our students each and every day. Together, we have developed the reforms that have led to unprecedented success and together we’re going to climb the next mountain and close the achievement gap,” said Dr. Jerry D. Weast, superintendent of schools. “Our employees have earned this wage increase and our gratitude for all they do for the children of Montgomery County.”

Negotiations on all three contracts concluded earlier this month, and the memberships of all three associations have ratified the contracts. In addition to the salary increases, the contracts provide the framework for greater collaboration, development of teacher leadership, increased stipends for certain activities, more training, and more career development.

“The wage agreement rewards our employees for the work they do every day to support student learning,” said Merle Cuttitta, president of SEIU Local 500. “I am pleased that the new contract calls for greater collaboration between MCPS and the associations and provides for more training opportunities and professional growth for our members.”

“MCEA members are dedicated to raising the achievement of all students, and they are the best at what they do. The resulting success of our students is something that gets noticed by others across the nation,” said Bonnie Cullison, president of MCEA. “Our professional educators deserve a wage that recognizes their value, and I believe this new agreement does that.”

“In addition, MCPS recognizes the many demands on teachers’ time and is committed to working with us to look at how time is used to prepare for and monitor student progress. Time is one of the most important resources we need to do our jobs and do them well,” Cullison added.

“Montgomery County is fortunate to have an educational team that truly puts the students first. Our administrators and supervisors are critical to the success of the students and have more than earned this wage increase,” said Rebecca Newman, president of MCAASP. “As MCPS improves its collaboration with the associations, our students will continue to win, because we’ll work more efficiently together to meet the challenges before us.”

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