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Teacher Chapter Negotiations

February 20, 2024

Dear Teachers, School Counselors, Library Media Specialists, Clinicians, Athletic Directors, ITAs and Related Service Providers:

We are excited to announce the successful ratification of the 2023-2026 BTU Teacher Chapter Contract!

The Teacher Contract was ratified with incredibly high turnout and member engagement – 63% of the Teacher chapter participated in the vote! The vote was tallied and 99% of members who participated voted for the contract, while 1% voted against it.

The counting of the votes marks the end of a successfully collaborative process of our negotiating team led by President Diamonté Brown, which included teachers from many job classifications who were new to negotiations. We appreciate the work of our dedicated Collective Bargaining Team.

January 30, 2024

Negotiations for the Teacher Chapter contract have concluded with a landmark Tentative Agreement that significantly raises career earnings, protects our healthcare plans, and introduces several new protections and benefits. These negotiations lasted over 100 hours at the bargaining table and five day-long mediation sessions. Our proposals were the culmination of nearly 50 meetings with members who voiced their ideas, concerns, and priorities.

Our Tentative Agreement includes the following pay scale adjustments, which are retroactive to July 1, 2023:

  • $3,000 bonus for all bargaining unit members, paid in a single lump sum payment
  • 9.27% increase to the Standard Pathway, establishing a $58,895 starting salary
  • Restructured Professional Pathway – everyone receives a minimum 4% increase (avg increase is 5.5%)
    • Pathway is restructured to increase interval differentials
    • New “Advanced Professional” Pathway is created; staff transition from the Professional Pathway automatically via AU accrual to the Advanced Professional Pathway
    • $20,000 of additional interval value incorporated into the new Advanced Professional Pathway with the highest available salary interval moving from $95,378 to $114,962
  • 4% increase to the Model & Lead Pathways 
  • Clinicians – shift to the IEP Team Associate Payscale
  • School Counselors – shift to the Clinician Payscale 

Stipends and summer school pay increase by 4%, and for the first time, middle school sports stipends will be incorporated into the contract. We also won $100/night compensation for overnight trips (which will remain voluntary). PSRPs who become teachers will now receive up to 7 interval credits for past service, rather than 5, which will increase their starting pay by over $5,000. Also, for the first time ever, BTU members will be paid the negotiated stipend rate of $53.18 per hour in addition to their regular salary when they give up a planning period to cover another class.

We have fully protected our healthcare benefits and there will be no changes for the duration of our three year contract. We will re-open the contract on compensation-related matters only for school years 2024-25 and 2025-26. 

Additionally, beginning in school year 2025-26 elementary school teachers will be guaranteed at least 225 minutes of planning time, with 45 minutes provided for collaborative planning. This corrects a decades-old inequity in the amount of planning time that is guaranteed for elementary and secondary teachers. 

The BTU collective bargaining team also secured agreements on several other matters, including a process to increase available religious leave, improvements on well-lit parking lots and a prioritization of lockable classroom doors. BTU’s negotiations team also secured improvements to contract provisions for the following job titles: Home and Hospital teachers, Library Media Specialists, Social Workers, PE teachers, School Psychologists, CTE teachers, Art teachers, ESOL teachers, Speech Language Pathologists, and IEP Team Associates. The union also successfully fought for new provisions regarding International Teachers and compensation increases for the maintenance/renewal of National Board Certification. Additionally, pronouns throughout the contract will be edited to be gender-neutral – current language refers to the BTU President, BCPSS CEO, teachers, etc. as “he.”

Over the next two weeks, myself and others from the collective bargaining team will be providing details on all aspects of the agreement. Ratification of the contract will happen via online voting from Monday, February 12 through Thursday, February 15.

Here is a link to a summary document of every tentative change to the contract, and here is a link to the entire tentative agreement.