It helps implement the second year of a salary scale transition.
Frederick, Md (KM). In a 5-to-1 vote on Wednesday, the Board of Education approved a new contract with the Frederick County Teachers Association. The three-year agreement was ratified by the School Board on the same it was okayed by the FCTA rank-and-file. “The language within this negotiated agreement will be in place for the next three years helping to sustain great teaching and learning in Frederick County,” said Missy Dirks, the President of the FCTA.
The contract implements the second year of the four-year salary scale transition plan. It makes modifications to the salary distribution schedule, and calls for re-openers on salary and benefits each year for the life of the contract.
There’s also no increase in insurance premiums for medical and dental benefits; enhanced coverage of vision benefits, including frames, contacts and lenses; elimination of co-pays for physical therapy and lab wellness checks; enhanced employee wellness initiatives; and an Other Post Employment Benefits (OPEB) contribution of $1,000,000 from the self insurance fund to protect retiree health benefits.
Board of Ed member April Miller voted against it, saying the salary scale transition does not benefit students and their families. “I can’t support the continued implementation of a salary scale when it comes at a cost of failing to reduce class size, the ability to increase staffing to meet the complex needs of students, fluctuating enrollments and even textbook purchases,” she said.
But her colleague, Joy Schaeffer, said this agreement does benefit students and their families. “Our goal is always students and teaching and working conditions that benefit students, as well as our employees I think when we benefit our employees, we benefit our students,” she says.,
Board of Education President Brad Young supported the contract. “We made a commitment. We worked really hard to come up to an agreement between our association and the board to new scale, and made that a top priority to get it implemented,” he said.
The agreement also deals with teacher transfer requests and sick leave.
The contract takes effect on July 1st.
By Kevin McManus