County Council Asked to Reject ‘Pay Increase,’ Teachers May Face Pay Cut
After the Board of Education approved the budget this week, County Executive John Leopold appeals to the county council.
Anne Arundel County Executive John Leopold announced Friday that he asked the county council to reject the “pay increases” recently approved by the Board of Education for its employees in fiscal year 2012.
The Anne Arundel County Public Schools (AACPS) budget, which was approved by the board on Wednesday, did not include any layoffs or furloughs and maintained salaries for employees.
The initial budget proposed by AACPS Superintendent Kevin Maxwell included funding to maintain teacher salaries at the 2011 rate. Last year, teachers received a “one time” pay increase that was later made permanent as the result of union negotiations and mediation. If the increase is rejected, teachers will see a 1.25 percent decrease in pay from 2011.
The Teachers Association of Anne Arundel County (TAAAC) and the Board of Education have not reached a settlement on negotiations for fiscal year 2012. The current fiscal year will end on June 30 and, according to an email from TAAAC sent to county school employees, some terms and conditions of employment that were scheduled to be discussed have not yet been settled.
Leopold said in a release that the board’s action “contradicts promises made by the superintendent and are inequitable to other county employees who will see a reduction in pay through furloughs next year.”
Yet, the fact remains that teachers will not see the cost of living or step increases that were negotiated in their contracts and will end up getting a cut in pay if the increase approved by the board isn’t honored.
"The assertion that the Board of Education awarded raises to employees for the coming fiscal year is simply inaccurate,” said Bob Mosier, spokesman for Anne Arundel County Public Schools, in an email. “The fiscal year 2012 operating budget approved by the board on June 15 contains no salary increases for the coming fiscal year. Employee salaries will be the same in fiscal year 2012 as they are currently.
"Our school system has made—and continues to make—tough but prudent fiscal decisions in this difficult economic climate, including adding no new general fund positions in the last two years despite the addition of 2,000 students. Our employees have shared—and continue to share—in the pain of this economic recession, and it is disappointing to see that fact distorted."
Leopold released a letter he wrote to Dick Ladd, chairman of the county council, to request a public hearing on the issue.
Editor's note: This article was updated from a previous version to clarify that the one-time increase became a permanent 1.25 percent increase in January after a mediated settlement between the TAAAC and the Board of Education.