Frederick County School Board Ratifies Contracts With Its Three Bargaining Units

The agreements contain salary increases for members.

Frederick, Md. (KM) – Agreements between the Frederick County School System and its three bargaining units were ratified Wednesday night by the Board of Education. The vote was unanimous.

Each of these contracts gives its members a salary increase of just over 7%.

Tim Thornburg negotiated two of the contracts on behalf of the Board of Education. “This year marks the first time in several negotiation cycles in which all three bargaining units have concluded negotiation and ratification nearly simultaneously and in record time,” he said.

One of the bargaining units was the Frederick Association of School Support Employees whose members will be getting a restructured salary schedule to include an average increase of 7.14%, There’s also a 5.5% increase in health insurance premiums, and a new salary language regarding parity. The contract also contains the creation of a subcommittee to make recommendations to the current tuition reimbursement language., and a reduction in the number of work calendars.

FASSE President Sharon Eberg said both sides in the negotiations had shared goals. “Our shared goals included the need to address recruiting and retaining high quality staff, equity between the more than 180 support employee classifications, as well as living wages and career earnings,:” she said.

Members of the Frederick County Administrative and Supervisory Association received a 7.14% salary resource pool applied to all salary scales, the addition of a sick leave bank and 5.5% increase in health insurance premiums. There’s also the creation of a work/life balance, an increase in reimbursement for educational expenses and the implementation of administrative mentoring and coaching.

In his remarks, Danny Rempf, the President of FCASA, described the negotiations. “Truly, it was something we looked forward to because we could sit down, our voices were heard. We felt we truly had a seat at the table and we had the ear of our board and we appreciate that,”: he said.

In the Frederick County Teachers Association contract, there’s  a 7.14% salary resource pool with a step increase  which on average equals 2.14%, and, if eligible,  a 5% cost of living increase. The contract also has pilot language for an additional 80-minutes of planning time per month for elementary and middle school teachers. There’s also directed professional development for non-tenured educators with less than three-yeas experience, and an increase of 5.5% in health insurance premiums.

“In this time of growing teacher and staff shortages, it is important for us to do everything we can to make sure FCPS is a place where people want to come and stay,” says FCTA President Missy Dirks. “We have stiff competition from neighboring counties.”

Dirks says 98% of FCTA members voted in favor of this contract.

After the School Board ratified the contracts, the documents were signed by Board of Ed President Brad Young and officials with FASSE, FCASA and the FCTA.

By Kevin McManus