Teacher Raises Cost County 66 School Positions, $10 Million

The Harford County Board of Education and Harford County Education Association reached an agreement Monday.

While some Harford County teachers can expect a raise starting July 1, the increases come at a cost of 66 positions and $10 million.

Days after , the , representing 3,200 Harford County Public Schools employees, reached an agreement with the .

The revised wage package of $10 million, which is funded in part by a $3.3 million reduction in expenses and $3.9 million from the elimination of 66 positions, was approved during Monday's school board meeting.

The Board of Education adopted the $427,768,507 budget containing the negotiated increases at Monday's meeting, before HCEA members voted to ratify the agreement at their schools Tuesday and Wednesday.

A copy of the board report and Fiscal Year 2013 budget changes can be found in the attached document.

A statement from the Harford County Board of Education said a lack of funding for the salary increases will be supplemented by "significant reductions in staffing and other programmatic areas throughout the budget to include professional development, overtime, meetings and conferences and equipment."

The agreement gives teachers and members of the HCEA a 1 percent cost of living raise for the next school year, a step increase raise for eligible teachers and longevity increases for more experienced teachers, according to a release from the school system.

According to a story on ExploreHarford.com, the school system said members of four other school system employee unions also get increases.

"Although our teachers undoubtedly deserve a fair pay raise, this proposal also comes with a cost—the loss of both administrative and teaching positions," Harford County Executive said in a statement.

HCEA also tentatively agreed to a Memorandum of Understanding that "resolves the outstanding 2011-12 collective bargaining issues," the release from the school system states.

The union had , which found that HCPS had been negotiating in bad faith with HCEA, Patch reported in April.

The Labor Board found that HCPS failed to honor parts of the previously negotiated contract agreement with the teachers and failed to follow the agreed upon advertised salary schedule.

Susan Smith June 13, 2012 at 11:54 AM
David Craig is a louse. A few years ago he told the Harford Community College Board they could not give a COLA raise to employees (even though HCC had a budget surplus) and HCPS not to give a COLA because it would look bad because he couldn't give his Harford County employees a COLA, and it would "look bad". Then, he turned around and gave his HC employees a COLA. This whole story is sad all around....HCPS doesn't negotiate in good faith...teachers protest and get their 1%, but at the cost of 66 people losing their jobs...and being told they are laid off on the last day of school.
sjh June 13, 2012 at 01:13 PM
I doubt anyone will actually be laid off as a result of the raise. I'll bet the whole 10 million these are vacant and newly created positions. It is just politics and a sad attempt at that.
Lady June 13, 2012 at 01:17 PM
Everybody is now calling this a raise. Where as before I read this was a more of a stipend put in the teacher's contract for the expected increase in living. From what I have read this was a signed contract between the teachers and the Harford Co. government. Apparently Harford Co. Government did not follow through on the CONTRACT. Contracts are legally binding. The teacher's didn't cause 66 folks to lose their jobs. Harford Co. government did. At election time I will remember this. My husband is self-employed. If someone didn't pay us for something that was spelled out in one of his contracts, we would take them to court over the matter.
BelAirChris June 13, 2012 at 02:08 PM
I think this is the point most people are missing. I don't remember the specific terminology, but an earlier patch article (about the surplus/bonus dispute) stated that the county had long agreed contractually agreed to pay the teachers a bonus/raise/stipend and had yet to do so due to budget shortfalls, hence the protest. Wave the anti-union flag and scream about spending all you want but the agreement was made long ago. If it was a problem it should have been addressed and resolved at that time. The greater issue in all of this is that we can't expect our children to have a quality education if our public education system is undermined by programs such as No Child Left Behind, or underfunded by local/state/federal government. If we worried as much about education reform as we do about who is a bigger "Patriot" or who is more progressive/conservative/American we wouldn't be worrying about how much our underpaid and under appreciated public school teachers are making.
April Crosby June 13, 2012 at 02:45 PM
I couldn't agree more BelAirChris!!
CGreenwood June 13, 2012 at 03:17 PM
The whole situation has been to blame HCEA and teachers for wanting good faith bargaining. Now they are being blamed because a small portion of the last two years contract has been funded. Positions are not being lost to this event. They are being lost due to the bickering between county leadership and the BOE. Our children and future aren't even in their headlights anymore. They just want to lay blame on educators for finally standing up to their poor leadership-- school system and county. Support our educational system!
County Employee June 13, 2012 at 05:04 PM
David Craig never gave his county employees a COLA raise, I am a HC GOV EMPLOYEE and none of us have gotten a raise in 4 years. The only thing he did do was give us a one time "bonus" which came out to be approx 170.00 after taxes.
mighty1 June 13, 2012 at 05:21 PM
It' a big ---- sandwich and you're all gonna have to take a bite,get over it.Teachers have been complaining about conditions and salaries as long as I can remember.Education has always been a political football.Every politican running for office has a solution to fix a system that never seems to get fixed.The song remains the same.
Kim June 15, 2012 at 12:48 PM
But they can surely spend $3.2 million to give our inmates better healthcare. I would rather see our educators getting the funds.


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