Baltimore City teachers will get a 4.5% pay increase over the next two years, improved benefits and a computer provided by the school district, under a tentative agreement reached between the Baltimore Teachers Union and city school officials.
The agreement must be ratified by the union membership, but it provides for the largest increase in pay in a decade and protections for health benefits, according to the teachers union. Teachers would get a 2.25% increase each year for two years, at a time when there is growing concern about a teacher shortage looming after the pandemic.
Computers will be guaranteed equipment for teachers if they request it. Teachers also asked for and received more flexible maternity and bereavement leave, and more planning time for athletic directors, home and hospital teachers, and librarians.
City school officials said the pay increase will allow the school system to meet the requirements of a law passed two years ago that increases state and local funding for education through 2030.
“This agreement allows city schools to continue providing very competitive salaries and benefits for our BTU employees so we can attract and retain talented educators,” school system officials said in a statement.
The two sides also agreed to health and safety measures — put in place when the district reopened buildings — for the coming school year.
“We didn’t win everything we came to the table to fight for, so we will continue fighting for what we deserve, because when we fight, we win,” BTU President Diamonte Brown said in a statement.
The teachers union also asked for improvements in school facilities, including better HVAC systems.