- The Enterprise
- The Recorder
Support staff wants administration program
By LAURA DUKESStaff writer
Support staff gym memberships were the main topic of discussion at last Friday’s fiscal 2013 current negotiations between the Calvert Association of Educational Support Staff and the Calvert County Board of Education’s negotiating team.
CAESS’s negotiators have said that their employees deserve the same contract perks given to the Calvert Association of Supervisors and Administrators, which CAESS Chief Negotiator Joseph Sella said could add up to a $4,000 raise for the lowest paid administrator and a $7,000 raise for the highest paid administrator.
These perks include getting to cash in up to five days of sick leave; additional money for professional development; three days of telecommuting; and a cash incentive for using three or fewer sick leave days.
To even things out among the unions, Sella proposed that support staff employees receive all of the same perks, plus a $300 annual stipend to for a membership at a gym of their choosing.
The board’s team, headed by Calvert County Public Schools Deputy Superintendent Robin Welsh, instead proposed that support staff receive a $300 annual stipend if they enroll in a wellness program that the school system has already set up with Calvert Memorial Hospital.
CCPS Chief Budget and Business Officer Tammy McCourt, a member of the board’s negotiating team, said this would include a gym membership and/or a weight-loss program.
Sella said if administrators are able to select their own gyms, support staff shouldn’t have to use the gym at CMH.
“Again, you’re creating a subclass of employees,” Sella said.
Welsh told Sella that administrators were given the stipend to select their own gyms before the program with the hospital was set up.
Welsh said these administrators have since been encouraged to enroll in the CMH program.
Nonetheless, Welsh said the fact that her side was offering the stipend to support staff was a step in the right direction.
“We’ve made some movement,” she said.
“It’s tiny mouse steps,” Sella responded.
Sella said by settling on a contract with the administrators before the teachers and support staff, the board’s negotiation team “created a morale monster.”
The two sides agreed to resume negotiations this coming Friday, June 1.