, president of the , or HCEA, a union representing Harford educators, shares thoughts in the wake of
Here is the letter unedited and printed in full:
HCEA celebrates having protected the negotiation rights of Harford County’s teachers. The Harford County Education Association reached a tentative agreement with the Harford County Board of Education negotiations team to discuss the disbursement of the $1,250 in supplemental funds from the County Executive.
The Harford County Education Association has the responsibility of upholding the rights of its members. By ensuring that the additional funding from the County Council was negotiated, HCEA protected the rights of our teachers and the school system. Our schools depend on our ability to collaborate—successfully, efficiently, and appropriately—to create the best possible school system for our children.
More than 40 years ago, the Maryland General Assembly passed legislation guaranteeing the right of educators to bargain with school boards over salary, benefits, and working conditions. These rights have been crucial to building the great public schools that make our state and county great places to live and to our efforts to recruit and retain outstanding educators. Regardless of the innocent façade painted by County Executive Craig, accepting such a “bonus” without negotiating it would erode educators’ collective bargaining rights and our county’s long history of effective collaboration.
Protecting the rights of teachers safeguards the integrity and rights of the school system, leading to better and stronger schools for our students. Negotiating this funding is an important part of doing what's right for our county by investing in our schools, educators, and children's future. We must ensure that the spirit of collaboration and negotiation remain strong in Harford County so that together we can ensure that our county provides the great public schools that children, businesses, and families depend on.
President of Harford County Education Association (HCEA)