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Howard County schools, teachers’ union reach two-year pact on salary scale

Howard County school officials and the county’s teacher’s union have announced a two-year pact that revises educators’ salary scales.

According to a release from the school system, the deal will increase entry level salaries for 10-month teachers with a bachelor’s degree to $48,519 for the 2019-2020 school year and $50,000 for 2020-21.

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The current minimum for a teacher with a bachelor’s degree is $47,802, according to school officials.

In addition, employees of long tenure whose salaries exceed the top step in the current scale will see an increase in earnings in each year of the agreement. Employees governed by the educational support professionals union also will see wage increases during both years.

Howard Community College was formally awarded a state grant of $9.8 million last week through the Maryland Board of Public Works as part of an overall $18 million package approved for capital projects at five higher educational organizations across Maryland.

School officials said funding for the agreements is included the system’s budget plan for the coming fiscal year, which Superintendent Michael Martirano presented to the Board of Education on Dec. 18.

The school board is expected to ratify the agreement during an upcoming meeting.

Officials said other provisions of the pact include a streamlined process for employees seeking voluntary transfers, and an opportunity for potential employees to meet with administrators for face-to-face interviews during some job fairs.

Howard County Superintendent Michael Martirano introduced a nearly $1 billion operating budget proposal Tuesday night, calling it his “road map” for the next four years and also announced the looming health care fund deficit has shrunk to $27 million.

Martirano said in the news release that he was “pleased that we were able to collaborate in providing additional compensation and supports for the talented and dedicated individuals whom we entrust with our students' education and care."

Colleen Morris, president of the Howard County Education Association teachers union praised the negotiation process, calling it “an atmosphere of respect and collaboration.”

—Staff reports

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