Teachers' New Contract Includes Pay Raises

Gale Horton Gay | 10/30/2012, 6:53 p.m.

Teachers in Prince George's County have something to look forward to that's been years in the making - pay raises and additional benefits.

Last week the Prince George's County Board of Education unanimously approved a new three-year contract with the Prince George's County Educator's Association [PGCEA] that will put more money in the pockets of teachers, allow teleworking and creation of a council to deal with staff recruitment, development and placement.

"This is a huge victory for our students, teachers and school community and it demonstrates that we are moving in the right direction," said Verjeana M. Jacobs, Prince George's County Board of Education chairwoman. "Despite having to cope with significant budget cuts, our teachers remained dedicated to our students. They should be rewarded for their unwavering commitment to education."

The teachers' association and the board have been involved in negotiations for the last three years. The new contract went into effect immediately and includes the following:

* Step increase for the 2012-2013 school year

* 2 percent one-time payment for those at the top of the pay scale

* Teleworking for teachers on three grading/planning days

* Establishment of a joint "Turnaround Leadership Council" to address issues related to recruitment, placement and development of staff

"We have excellent teachers who have stayed the course despite not receiving a pay increase in three years," said Lewis Robinson, executive director, PGCEA. "This contract demonstrates in several ways the Board of Education's commitment to recognize its workforce in spite of the difficult fiscal challenges that we faced in this negotiation."

"This contract keeps us focused on our priority of ensuring highly effective teaching," said Dr. Alvin L. Crawley, interim superintendent of schools. "We appreciate the collaboration of our teachers' union and we look forward to not only continuing to make academic progress but regaining our competitive edge in retention and recruitment of highly effective teachers."

Prince George's County Executive Rushern L. Baker III also praised union and school officials for reaching a contract that financially rewards teachers.

"This contract is an important step toward showing our appreciation for the hard work and dedication of educators across Prince George's County," said Baker.