Teacher Chapter Members! Monday Feb 12 is the beginning of online voting for the Teacher Chapter Contract Tentative Agreement Ratification.
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Teacher Chapter Contract Update 1-30-24
I am very pleased to announce that 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. See below for meeting schedules and registration links.
With the end of Teacher Chapter negotiations the BTU will immediately turn to negotiating next year’s contract for PSRPs, and the 2024-25 salary and career ladder structure for the Teacher Contract.
While Teacher Contract negotiations lasted far longer than we had hoped, we stayed at the table to ensure that we secured the best contract possible. We are excited to meet with members over the next two weeks as we work toward ratification.
THE COLLECTIVE BARGAINING TEAM
Diamonté Brown, BTU President
Natalia Bacchus, Executive Assistant to the President
John Casey, Field Representative, BTU
Dewitt Doss, Athletic Director, Edmondson-West Side High School
Cristina Duncan Evans, Teacher Chapter Chair, BTU
Nathan Ferrell, Member Engagement, BTU
Latheena Galloway, CTE Teacher, Mergenthaler Vocational Technical High School
Ryan Gholson, Music Teacher, KIPP Harmony Academy
Kelly Hope, Field Organizer, BTU
Kimberly Hescox Mooney, BTU Appointee to the JGP, JGP
Brittany Johnstone, Special Services Vice President, BTU
Melissa McDonald, High School Teacher, ConneXions
Franca Muller Paz, Spanish Teacher, Baltimore City College
Patrice Pilgrim, Middle School Teacher, Fort Worthington Elementary/Middle School
Fareeha Waheed, Teacher Chapter Vice Chair, Central Office
Zach Taylor, Teacher Chapter Treasurer, BTU
Keith Zimmerman, BTU Attorney