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Employee union reaches agreement with Carroll County Public Schools after impasse, mediation

CASE President Diane Deal addresses the Board of Education at their Dec. 11 meeting.
CASE President Diane Deal addresses the Board of Education at their Dec. 11 meeting. (Courtesy Photo)

CASE, the employee bargaining unit representing educational support professionals, and Carroll County Public Schools both unanimously ratified an agreement in December, putting an end to a negotiation process that stretched more than a year.

After an official impasse was declared in late-October 2019, the union and the school system went into mediation.

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CASE represents licensed practical nurses (LPNs), clericals, instructional assistants and special education assistants employed by CCPS.

A tentative agreement was reached through mediation in Nov. 26. CASE members ratified with a unanimous vote in early December. The Board of Education unanimously ratified the agreement Dec. 11.

The full text of the agreement is available as part of the meeting agenda on carrollk12.org.

CASE President Diane Deal said negotiations stretched over 13 months. Mediation took 25 hours.

“CASE is pleased with the changes in our new contract,” Deal said to the Board of Education before they voted on ratification. "The contract provides respect to our hardworking education support professionals, which they earn for all the work they do for our students. CASE thinks these changes are a step in the right direction of a contract that will recruit and retain highly qualified employees the Board is striving for through their Pillar III of the strategic plan.”

“The 350-plus new bargaining unit positions that we agreed would finally be added to CASE’s unit will better meet the needs of students in Carroll County Public Schools.”

The parties agreed to terms for incorporation of Special Education hourly personnel who meet the state law definition for positions who are eligible for union representation, Superintendent Steve Lockard said before the Board vote.

The new agreement is a three-year agreement. Employees will receive their FY20 salary increase retroactive to the first pay period of the fiscal year, which began July 1.

CASE is the only bargaining unit that did not reach an agreement with CCPS before the start of the school year.

Sean McKillop, Maryland State Education Association UniServ director for CASE, did not respond to a request for comment.

“I am pleased that we were able to come to this resolution,” Board of Education president Donna Sivigny said at the meeting, when the Board voted to ratify. “I feel like we got to a win-win situation for everyone.”

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