An impasse was declared in negotiations between Carroll County Public Schools and Carroll Association of School Employees, one of the five employee bargaining units for those employed by CCPS.
The association, or CASE, represents licensed practical nurses (LPNs), and clerical, instructional and special education assistants.
The Maryland Public School Labor Relations Board officially recognized on Oct. 25 that an impasse had been reached, according to Chantress Baptist, director of human resources for CCPS.
After the declaration of an impasse, the next step is mediation. Both parties will agree upon a mediator, and they have 45 days from the declaration of impasse to begin the mediation process.
This is the first time an impasse has been declared between CASE and CCPS, according to Sean McKillop, Maryland State Education Association UniServ director for CASE (UniServ directors help local union members in contract negotiations and other matters).
He said he hopes the parties can quickly resolve a contract through the mediation process.
Baptist responded similarly for CCPS. “Our goal is to establish a fair contract for CASE employees and school system operations,” she wrote in an email.
CASE is the only one of the five bargaining units not to ratify an agreement with CCPS by July 1. Diane Deal, CASE president, said employees who work for the school system all 12 months of the year have been waiting since July 1 for a pay increase and CASE was the only bargaining unit not to receive one.
McKillop said that across Maryland, it is not rare for a school system and an employee bargaining unit to declare an impasse and seek mediation. It is exceedingly rare if mediation does not result in a contract, though.
The next step would be a formal hearing before the labor board where they select the agreement between the school system and the employee bargaining unit. McKillop could not recall a time when this has happened anywhere in Maryland.