- The Enterprise
- The Recorder
Calvert County public school teachers will continue to end the school year knowing where they will be teaching and how much money they will be making.
During Thursday’s contract negotiations between the teachers union, the Calvert Education Association, and the Calvert County Board of Education’s negotiation team, the board had initially proposed teachers receive their assignments by Aug. 1. The teachers currently must receive their assignments by the last day of school.
“It’s reasonable to know where you’re going to be and how much money you’re going to make,” CEA President Debbie Russ said.
Though both sides went back and forth, the board ultimately said the teachers could keep the current language.
“We did make movement on something you thought was important,” Calvert County Public Schools Deputy Superintendent Robin Welsh, the board’s chief negotiator, said of her side’s decision to keep the language as is.
The two sides could not reach an agreement, however, on the board’s proposal to have teachers stay after school for up to one hour twice a month for professional development.
“We have child care issues, we have family issues ... people will not ratify that,” CEA Chief Negotiator Joseph Sella said, affirming that teachers will also need an extra planning period to make up for time lost due to professional development.
The teachers were also concerned with the board’s proposal stating that a teacher could be released from his or her job due to “curriculum changes.”
“I don’t know what that means at all,” said CEA Negotiator Bridget Kluwin, a teaching specialist with the school system.
“Our concern is that you meet the certification requirement to teach whatever the course is,” Welsh said, using the example of subjects like social studies, which have many different certification areas beneath it.
Kluwin said vague language often leads to exceptions being made.
“Exceptions bring grievances. ... You need much tighter language,” Kluwin said.
The CEA also proposed language stating that teachers have the right to representation if they are suspended or placed on administrative leave.
Sella said while teacher suspensions are extremely rare, “this covers both sides of the table.”
Welsh said administrative leave is often done promptly due to safety concerns.
“They’re not suspended because they’re actually getting paid,” Welsh said.
Welsh said prior to suspensions or termination, all teachers on administrative leave are granted a meeting with CCPS Superintendent Jack Smith.
“He wants a chance to meet that person and have them share their side of the story,” Welsh said.
Both sides returned to negotiations Tuesday after time of press.