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Education

Baltimore County executive, school system reach agreement on employee pay raises set to cost $76M

Wages will increase for Baltimore County school employees thanks to an agreement struck this week between the county government and the state’s third largest public school system.

The plan will increase pay for employees by an estimated 7% to 11%, totaling a $76 million investment in educators and school employees who have weathered a myriad of hurdles including staffing shortages and burnout since the start of the COVID-19 pandemic.

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From left, Baltimore County Public Schools (BCPS) Superintendent Dr. Darryl Williams listens as Baltimore County Executive Johnny Olszewski answers questions about the agreement to provide compensation to BCPS employees outside West Towson Elementary School.

Baltimore County Executive Johnny Olszewski Jr. and Superintendent of Schools Darryl Williams announced at a news conference Tuesday that the increases include $14 million for a 3% cost-of-living increases for all staff members, applied retroactively beginning July 1. All staff will receive retention bonuses, with additional funds going toward employees with more than 30 years experience. The school system also is redirecting $20 million within its current budget to fund an increase that was expected last year.

Representatives for school system bargaining units, including the Council of Administrative & Supervisory Employees and the Teachers Association of Baltimore County, were present for the announcement.

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Olszewski, a former teacher, referred to the deal as a “common sense, win-win solution.”

“This unprecedented mid-year increase reinforces just how much we respect our hardworking professionals for all they do for our kids” he said. “This proposal also represents a sustainable step forward that puts us on a path to ensure that we meet our commitment for responsible governance.”

The announcement followed pressure from the teachers union earlier this month to resolve budgeting issues that were holding up raises for employees.

After the school board reached tentative agreements with its employee unions concerning pay raises for midsummer, the board unanimously approved a $50 million midyear supplemental budget request that still must be voted on by the council.

Olszewski later published an op-ed in The Baltimore Sun against the budget supplement request, saying the school board’s decision was “irresponsible.”

Williams said Tuesday he was very pleased with the plan.

“What you see here today is a partnership in action,” he said.


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