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WCBOE and WCPS Present Overview to Washington County Teachers' Association Negotiations

HAGERSTOWN, MD (September 7, 2010) – Washington County Board of Education (WCBOE) members and Washington County Public Schools (WCPS) staff provided an overview today on the status of negotiations between WCPS and the Washington County Teachers’ Association (WCTA) during a regularly scheduled WCBOE business meeting.

After multiple meetings and discussions with WCTA since September 2009, and an impasse declaration at the end of the 2009-2010 school year, WCBOE members and WCPS recently submitted another fair and fiscally prudent proposal that incorporated WCTA’s most recent key requests, which allowed for optimal levels of student learning and avoided significant staff layoffs.

According to members of the WCPS negotiations team, the school system felt that the groups were extremely close to an agreement as of August 26, 2010.  Unfortunately, just days later, WCTA substantially changed its position in a counterproposal, according to a WCTA document dated September 1, 2010.

WCPS and WCBOE members will continue to pursue an amicable and fiscally prudent agreement that protects student learning, supports employees and preserves jobs.

“At this time, if we agree to WCTA’s requests, substantial layoffs and other cuts that directly impact the classroom and student learning will happen in the near future,” said Wayne Ridenour, WCBOE president.

Chris South, WCPS chief financial officer, confirmed during the meeting that WCTA’s most recent requests could account for more than 317 employee layoffs, and would further impact library resources, technology, textbooks and instructional materials, maintenance projects, and could affect class size. He also explained that WCPS has experienced a plateau in revenues over the last three years due to the expiration of Thornton funding, while during the same time, teachers have received a 17 percent pay increase in steps and cost of living adjustments

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