UPDATED (3:13 p.m.)—They spoke. They were heard.
Days after staging a work to order protest, the Harford County Education Association says it has reached a tentative agreement with the Harford County Board of Education on "salary enhancements" for Harford County Public Schools teachers.
According to an email from HCEA President Randy Cerveny, the agreement signed Monday includes a "one percent cost of living allowance, a step on the salary scale for elligible teachers and longevity increases for more experienced teachers."
The statement noted that the changes become effective July 1.
The agreement also stated the final duty day of the current school year will be Wednesday, June 13—rather than the previously-mandated June 14.
Many schools were planning partial days for teachers, simply to meet the June 14 requirement.
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."
In the same statement, Board President Dr. Leonard D. Wheeler said: “The Board is pleased to provide our employees with an increase in salary as they are the heart of this organization and so deserving. Working with a budget shortfall this year, it was imperative that we carefully analyzed the budget to make strategic and thoughtful reductions in order to provide a salary increase for our employees. However, with approximately 85 percent of our budget dedicated to people, it is impossible to make cuts without realizing an impact on the classroom.”
The HCEA statement said the Board of Education plans to adopt a budget containing the negotiated increases at Monday's meeting, before HCEA membes will vote to ratify the agreement at their schools on Tuesday and Wednesday.
In the same statement, Cerveny said: “Make no mistake: this agreement came about because of the involvement and advocacy of the teachers of Harford County. They refused to remain silent in the face of threats to the quality of education for Harford County students and stood up for their right to be compensated as professionals.”
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