It covers the 2013-14 academic year.
A new contract has been ratified by the Frederick County Teachers Association. This agreement with the Board of Education covers the 2013-14 academic year.
"The main elements of it are that the teachers will get a full year implementation of their step increase, that will be offset by increases to employee costs for insurance," says FCTA President Gary Brennan. He says the step increase will take affect on July 1st.
But Brennan says for the 5th year in a row, teachers will not be getting a cost of living adjustment. "And they're frustrated, seeing that lots of other employees, including county government employees, are getting cost of living adjustments," he says. "But unfortunately, with the current powers that be, finding the funds to do that for a Board of Ed employee is extremely difficult."
He says Frederick County teachers are continuing to fall behind teachers in other areas when it comes to salaries. "Frederick County is in a highly competitive market for certified employees for teachers and other professionals. And we are not keeping up with our neighbors. We are falling behind Washington County," Brennan says. As a result, he says, teachers from Frederick County will continue to look for higher pay classroom jobs in places like Washington, Montgomery and Fairfax Counties.
"Take a look at the fact that the current salary scale has been busted by years by underfunding by the County Commissioners. So we really have to look at what we can do to try to get something that's competitive with our neighboring school systems," says Brennan.
He says paying for the current contract all depends on how the Commissioners decide on the Board of Ed's budget request. If they decide not to provide the funding, Brennan says the School Board will have to decide where to cut to fund this agreement.
The Commissioners have said they won't fund the school system beyond maintenance of effort, where the public schools will get no more than what they received in the current fiscal year.
A public hearing on the county's budget is scheduled for Tuesday evening at 6:00 at Urbana High School.