Frederick County School Board, Teachers, Reach Tentative Agreement

FCTA will begin to vote on it later this week.

Frederick, Md (KM) A tentative, three-year agreement has been reached between the Frederick County Board of Education, and the Frederick County Teachers Association. “We’re happy that we have a tentative agreement that we’re able to place for our members to vote on,” says Missy Dirk, President of the FCTA.

In late June, the two sides reached an impasse in negotiations which had been ongoing since January. A mediator was called in to work out an agreement between the two sides.

The contract, when it’s ratified, gives  all eligible employees a 1.5% across the board cost of living adjustment, along with a step increase. Teachers who were hired on or before February 1st, 2021, will receive a $1400 retention incentive in their December 15th, 2021 paychecks.

In addition to that, “some additional paid time for our special education teachers and speech language pathologists in order to do  the work that’s required of them by all the federal and state mandates that they have to follow,” Dirks says.

She says the FCTA didn’t get everything it wanted in the negotiations. “That’s what happens when you negotiate. There’s two parties, and I’m sure the School System would say the same'” says Dirks. “Working with a mediators helps bring both sides to an agreement where both sides get some of what they want..”

Dirks says FCTA members will receive their ballots  later on  this week, along with information for them to make a decision on the contract. “It was a full contract that was up  for negotiations. So there’s a lot of clarifications that were made to the language. There’s quite a bit of detail we have to get out to  members. and so we’re hoping to have the full details along with their ballot to them by the end of day of Wednesday,” she says.

FCTA members need to have their ballots marked and sent off to leadership by Wednesday next week, September 22nd.

“I am pleased we  have reached an agreement and appreciate all that  the teachers have endured  since March 2020,” says Board of Education President Jay Mason, in a statement. “I also appreciate the collaborative effort of the FCPS and the FCTA negotiating teams and thank them for all of their time and effort to get us to an agreement.”

The School Board is expected to move forward with this contract.  It says the three-year agreement focuses time for the Board of Ed and the FCTA to collaborate on changes as a result of the Blueprint for Maryland’s Future.

By Kevin McManus