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Calvert teachers union declares impasse


Prince Frederick, MD – Officials from the Calvert Education Association (CEA) announced Wednesday, Oct. 22 that a counter-offer it has received from the school board’s negotiation team is unacceptable and has declared an impasse in contract negotiations. A CEA press release stated the organization is complying with Maryland Education Law and applying for a certification of impasse to the Maryland Public School Labor Relation Board (PSLRB).

The CEA had presented a settlement offer calling for a 1 percent cost of living increase (COLA) effective Jan. 1 and “to return and make permanent the 1 percent salary adjustment that was awarded to teachers at the restructured Step 26.” The association’s bargaining team also asked for deletion of language that makes attendance at school open houses mandatory and additional teacher work time to complete Student Learning Objectives (SLOs), part of the new teacher evaluation process designed to measure student growth.

The Calvert County Board of Education (BOE)-appointed negotiation team responded with an offer to give teachers a 0.5 percent COLA effective the 14th pay of the 2014-2015  school year, a 0.5 percent one-time stipend for teachers at the restructured Step 26, one additional dedicated two-hour teacher work time to complete SLOs and retention of the mandatory attendance at open houses language.

“Your CEA team could not accept this offer in your best interests,” CEA officials told association members. The association leaders explained that if the PSLRB grants impasse status to the negotiations a neutral mediator will meet with the parties in an attempt to resolve the issue. Under revised state law the parties may accept the proposed settlement, either in its entirety or in part; or decline the proposed settlement and request arbitration before the PSLRB.

According to CEA officials, the impasse process will move much faster than a similar action did in 2009.

Contact Marty Madden at marty.madden@thebaynet.com

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