Annapolis, Md. – The Maryland Public School Labor Relations Board (PSLRB) has approved the Teachers’ Association of Anne Arundel County’s Impasse request. Issues giving rise to impasse include the County’s refusal to fairly negotiate with the union on working conditions, and the implementation of the Blueprint for Maryland’s Future. AACPS, while agreeing to impasse for our negotiations, has refused to see the union as a partner at the negotiations table.
During the last five months of negotiations, TAAAC’s bargaining team has included proposals such as maintaining planning time – when educators are able to prepare for students, communicate with families, grade and evaluate work, upload information to Brightspace, and more – however, AACPS refused to even provide a response to the proposal. They refused to respond or refused to provide a counter-proposal to four of TAAAC’s proposals.
TAAAC President Russell Leone pointed out that the issues leading to impasse directly impact the school district’s ability to recruit and retain high-quality educators.
“The Board of Education is struggling to hire sufficient educators and substitutes, which have burdened educators with increased workloads. Currently, we have secured an agreement for additional compensation, but that is set to expire,” said Leone. “We need to retain the educators we have and recruit the educators our students and peers deserve.”
Across the state, many of the surrounding counties provide compensation for class coverage. This stipend supports educators who are faced with increasing staff shortages, without which they would be taking on increased workloads without any additional pay. Additionally, educators in Anne Arundel County are joining their colleagues in Prince George’s County to advocate for better working conditions, better learning conditions for their students, and increased compensation. Both unions are going to impasse at the bargaining table to make their voices heard.
“While the County Council has approved a fair and productive starting point for negotiations, including a 4% COLA and one step increase for all Unit 1 educators, we cannot accept this compensation package with the threat of losing planning time, or increased non-professional duties, or decreased pay for sub-coverage,” said Leone. “Educators deserve to be treated with respect for the dedication we provide to our students and public schools.”
Impasse means that the teachers, the Board, and a third-party mediator must meet and attempt to resolve the issues. If that fails, the next step will be arbitration, where both groups cede their authority to an arbitrator who will make the final decision on the dispute.
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