County teachers union files unfair labor practice lawsuit against MCPS

Contract negotiations between Montgomery County Public Schools and its teachers’ union stalled with the union filing an unfair labor practice lawsuit on Tuesday for “unlawful delay tactics” it said resulted from a persistent disagreement over ground rules.

The Montgomery County Education Association, which represents 14,000 teachers, said it filed a lawsuit over the district’s refusal to allow its members to observe all stages of the negotiation process for its next three-year contract. The union says MCPS is using its demand for open negotiations, which occurred during contract negotiations in 2019, to delay this year’s process, in violation of state labor laws.

MCPS, which has offered five open sessions, says it has been negotiating with the union on the rules since June and “stands ready and willing” to continue working on the ground rules, but the filing of the complaint and the process for The planned mediation result could potentially delay negotiations for “several months”, according to chief operating officer Brian Hull.

More than 150 union members gathered outside MCPS headquarters in Rockville on Tuesday night before leaders meet with the school board and present key teacher bargaining proposals. They focus on recruitment and retention incentives, especially for high-needs schools; wage increases and a “more equitable” wage grid; and increased stipends for the supervision of extracurricular activities.

Tuesday’s meeting had been scheduled as the annual session between the union and school board and MCPS leaders to discuss “items of mutual interest,” according to the board meeting agenda. These elements included: improving math and literacy rates, creating a safe and inclusive school climate, supporting two-way communication between schools and families, and improving recruitment, retention and the distribution of a highly qualified and diverse workforce.

Union President Jennifer Martin said the union decided to use the meeting to present its proposals “in light of the continued delays in the start of negotiations and ongoing work to develop MCPS’s budget request.” .

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