CALVERT COUNTY, Md. – Recent negotiations between the Calvert County Public School District (CCPS) and the Calvert Education Association (CEA) have caused an uproar across the county.
The Calvert Education Association is the bargaining representative for all certified teachers in CCPS. They negotiate salary, work hours, benefits, and working conditions.
CEA has urged CCPS to raise the bar on many proposals after a new document was released showing what the school district is doing for educators.
One is working hours. CEA proposed a 7.5-hour work day and working no additional hours. CCPS responded by saying teachers will work 8.5 hours a day and an additional 190 hours that are unpaid. Salary steps will only happen every four years. CEA proposed salary steps every year.
CEA also wants teachers to have more planning time. CCPS plans to reduce it.
Other topics include health care costs, teacher protections, recruitment of new teachers, and personal/sick leave. CEA proposed more personal/sick leave for teachers. But CCPS plans to allow less leave and be more stringent on how teachers use those days.
Teachers are voicing their frustration, saying this will ultimately hurt the students and leave schools understaffed.
Heather Hammett has been at Beach Elementary for 16 years and with CCPS for 20 years. She says the offer from the Board of Education shows they don’t respect those on the front line.
“People are already leaving in droves. This is going to cause more folks to leave, which is going to increase the shortage of staff we already have. There is no good incentive to work for CCPS. Folks are going to choose to work in surrounding counties due to better offers. People used to move here because of the schools. When the quality of education goes down, so will the value of homes. In reality, this is going to affect the whole community, not just the educators. I hope parents are just as concerned as educators,” says Hammett.
The BayNet reached out to CCPS and received this response from Chief of Communications, Rene Daniels.
“I can confirm that Calvert County Public Schools is currently in the early stages of collective bargaining/negotiations for a successor agreement between the Board of Education of Calvert County and the Calvert Education Association.”
Several people have shared the negotiations online and say this is an insult to teachers. Now they are hoping that parents will take action by emailing the Board of Education, County Commissioners, and Superintendents and to show up to BOE meetings.
The BayNet will continue to follow this story and bring any updates.
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