The Caroline County Education Association and Caroline County Public Schools signed an amendment to the negotiated agreement on Tuesday, May 16, at a board of education work session. The board voted unanimously to approve the amendment, which union members had voted to ratify on May 10.
CCPS Chief Negotiator Rob Willoughby noted that this year’s negotiations reflected a strong working relationship between the two parties. “Sometimes we saw things from different points of view,” he said, “but this was conducted in a very collaborative and democratic way.”
CCEA President Amy Bauman agreed and shared that the atmosphere this year was more reflective of the CCPS motto One Family, One Vision. “There was a feeling of working together rather than being adversarial,” Ms. Bauman said. She noted that everyone was comfortable asking and answering questions, and the feedback from members was extremely positive.
Superintendent Derek Simmons said that he appreciated the hard work both negotiating teams put forth to reach an agreement. He stated, “We really are working toward the same thing. We have different lenses at different times but ultimately the same goal.”
Dr. Simmons also noted that within one calendar year, teacher salaries were raised 9.5% and support salaries 11.5%, and added that this does not come easy but is the result of hard work and dedication from both sides. “I appreciate the relationships we’ve created and am looking forward to future years as we continue to refine and build,” he said.
Dr. Simmons and Ms. Bauman both remarked on the important role the Caroline County Commissioners played in enabling salary enhancements this year, and thanked them for their support.
Following the unanimous vote, Board President Rick Barton said that he appreciated how the process has improved as compared to a year ago, and that a fair agreement was reached within the capabilities of the school system budget.