The Howard County Board of Education announced Tuesday that it has reached tentative agreements with two of the four employee bargaining units and one association representing Howard County Public School System employees.
The school board has reached tentative agreements with the American Federation of State, County, and Municpal Employees (AFSCME), which represents custodial, maintenance, grounds and warehouse staff, the Howard County Administrators Association (HCAA) and the Howard County Food Service Association.
The negotiation process remains ongoing with the Howard County Education Association (HCEA) and the Howard County Education Association - Education Support Professionals (HCEA-ESP), according to a school system news release.
Under the tentative agreements, employees will receive a three percent cost of living adjustment on July 1 and a full step increase on March 1, 2015.
According to the news release, the FY15 COLA increase represents the highest known increase among the 24 public school systems across the state.
"We know that our success as a school system is due to the strength of our employees," Board of Education Chairman Ellen Flynn Giles said in a statement. "I am pleased that we are able to provide our well-deserving staff with a compensation package that leads the state."
Schools Superintendent Renee Foose added, "These raises reflect our shared commitment to increasing compensation for our dedicated employees who work tirelessly to make sure that our students have positive, healthy, clean learning environments and top-notch programming so they can thrive. This compensation package moves us closer to my goal of making our employees the best paid in the state."