Frederick County Public Schools teachers will receive a 1.9 percent salary increase this school year thanks to a one-year agreement reached between the school system and the Frederick County Teachers Association. 

In addition to the across-the-board pay increase, teachers who hold a bachelor's degree and are continuing their education will be eligible for mid-year pay scale increases based on the number of credits they have completed.

The agreement was reached through both in-person and virtual meetings between FCPS and union representatives over the past few months. Ultimately, both parties agreed to have a one-year agreement due to the COVID-19 pandemic. The Board of Education unanimously approved the agreement during their most recent meeting. 

The contract will be reopened next year for further negotiations and amendments.

FCTA President Melissa Dirks, said while the pandemic added additional challenges to the negotiations, the final contract holds improvements for both teaching and learning in the county.

"It is a reasonable and fair contract given the circumstances and was ratified by a majority of FCTA members," Dirks said. 

In addition to the pay increases, health insurance premiums for teachers will increase by 2 percent and there are new parental leave provisions for parents who are both employed by the school system.

The one-year contract also states that a study will be convened to look at and assess workload issues for various positions including school counselors, special education department chairs and media specialists. 

The agreement also has the addition of Flexible Professional Time (FPT), which was piloted over the last three school years. According to the contract, the previous one day of system-wide designated professional learning will be converted to seven hours of FPT.

This is meant to give teachers autonomy and flexibility in achieving their professional growth and development.

Jennifer Nguherimo, chief negotiator for FCTA, said although this year's agreement saw improvements, there is still far to go and that it's hard to meet goals when there is a lack of resources.

“We’re not there yet. There is a chronic underfunding of this school system which really causes a great deal of hardship each negotiation…but hope springs eternal," she said. 

Board member Karen Yoho, a former FCPS teacher, had a message for teachers before the board voted.

"We did try to do the best we could for you. It’s uncertain times and in my book, it will never be enough, but believe me that we did try to give you what we could," she said. 

Follow Katryna Perera on Twitter: @katrynajill

(41) comments

LeonardKeepers

i would think this was not a good time to be handing out raises.if anyone really deserves a raise it is the police they are scrutinized for everything they do and greatly under appreciated these days.they are out in all kinds of weather,with teachers when a snow flake falls they close all the schools thus the teachers can stay home.

mcrider

Ridiculous. Getting a raise while not going to work, while millions of fellow Americans are laid off lost their jobs due to the COVID scam. I received no raise this year (as all years past) due to the “uncertainty” of the COVID situation, and our company is busier and doing better than ever before. Just an excuse. Teachers stay home and get a 2% raise. Ridiculous. What a joke.

shiftless88

People; pay attention. The entire process of virtual education takes more work by more people overall. Parents, kids, teachers. Just because the parents have to do some more and the teaching situation may not be as effective, does NOT MEAN that teachers are working less or not as hard. They are working harder. They deserve a raise anyway.

rjburke24

Not a FCPS teacher but married to one. She worked significantly more hours this past spring than ever before, often 14-16 hours a day. In addition, the article states teachers gain 1.9% pay raise but lose 2.0% to health insurance so that would seem to be a net loss for the teachers and net savings for the county.

Blueline

The gross salary will increase 1.9%, & the portion they contribute for health insurance, which is much lower, goes up by 2%.

DickD

It doesn't say that either. It says premiums go up 2%. My interpretation is someone paying a percentage of the health care costs their cost would go up a percentage of the 2%. As a easy example, if your health cost is $1,000/mo. and the premium goes up 2%, the additional premium cost is $20. If you are paying 50 % of your health care your health care premium costs would go up $10/mo. If you are making $60,000 a year and using the stated 1.9% pay increase you would be making $1,200 more per year minus $120 for the health care premium increase cost, leaving the individual with a net yearly ncrease of $1,080 And then there are tax deductions.

DickD

You better go back and read it again as it says health care is an additional 2%...Tp.me it means your pay goes up 1.9% and the County has an additional 2% cost. . It never says the teacher pays more for health care.

Frayou

Unfortunate there is impulse to strike out at teachers suggesting they will be doing less with virtual learning and not sure on what statistical basis there is thinking so? (Do other occupations do less working from home?). I have a daughter which is a teacher. There is a lot more involved with attempting to structure teaching virtual as the board managers haven’t work out the details. One more factor one should keep in mind. Teachers routinely work more hours beyond the classroom typically, prior to the pandemic shutdown. Bottom line, the teaching profession is another underpaid & typically unappreciated one.

MD1756

Ask how many parents are willing to give up their income tax credits/deductions so teachers can be paid more. I doubt many will. They all complain when I suggest they pay the same to educate their children as those of us with no children pay. They just come up with irrelevant statements like "who is going to take care of you when you're old" or "property taxes pay most of the school budget." They want a quality education for their children but don't want to pay the full costs. Anyone who has had to develop online or virtual training from face to face training knows there is a lot of work to do and requires different and/or additional skills to keep someone engagement with remote training. It's my opinion that anyone with children who complain about teachers' pay are just selfish. Would they teach their own children for the pay the public school teachers are making? You couldn't pay me enough to become a public school teacher.

vodalone

Teachers should be compensated fairly for the service they perform. They are not performing that service in the current environment but still receiving a raise. That is a scandal and should be exposed as one. I have no problem with a tax increase to give teachers raises if they are teaching as per normal circumstances. The simple fact is they are not doing that. End of story.

MD1756

That's your opinion and you're welcome to it. Are you a parent? I am not.

llrowse

Try teaching school online. Until you have, crawl back under your rock.

Just Wondering

Vodalone, do you really understand what teaching is all about? Teachers are not babysitters.

vodalone

I certainly understand, my father was a teacher and my sister is currently a teacher. She has said on numerous occasions that virtual learning is a joke, for elementary school kids it’s especially stunting their development and in many cases it will mean year round learning to make up for the loss.

MD1756

Maybe your sister needs more training for distance learning or maybe she just can't develop the skill sets for it. Again, you couldn't pay me enough to teach in public schools and distance learning is much harder to keep the students engaged but it can be done. You still didn't answer whether or not you had children. Could the inconvenience be driving your position more than efficiency/effectiveness versus keeping more people alive?

shiftless88

vodalone; I think you are conflating the concept that virtual learning is not as effective with the concept of how hard a teacher has to work to virtually teach. They have to work as hard or harder to do virtual teaching, even if it is perhaps not as effective as in-person (though everyone compares it to in-person pre COVID. In-person learning in this environment would not be as effective as before, either).

patomd969

So schools are virtual. Parents are losing jobs. And, teachers are getting a raise. I'm sorry. I just find this beyond unbelievable. A question for teachers - just how much time will you be spending a week going with virtual?

bosco

A teacher friend of mine said that her workload increased when FCPS went virtual. So much so, that she dreaded going back to work in a virtual classroom this fall and decided it was time to retire. Even a raise was not enough to tip the scale. She was a great, well loved teacher.

[ninja]

KellyAlzan

Pato I’m sorry you can’t realize. Guess your teacher wasn’t very good......

llrowse

People like Pato are/were the problem, not the teachers.

MD1756

Maybe next job you'll think about how secure it is or better yet, you'll think about what could happen if you have children and then lose your job before it happens.

Just Wondering

My estimate is 8 or more hours a day. Including Saturday or Sunday as well. Actually, that is nothing different from what teachers usually do.

vodalone

Oh great, let’s pay teachers more for less work while parents are The ones doing the teaching. Pathetic.

Hayduke2

Actually, those teachers I know dread the virtual classroom and find it increases their workload. This includes some teachers that utilized resources that are difficult to do virtually but they are being creative and working hard.

vodalone

I highly doubt it. The format has changed and some especially older teachers probably can’t adapt or refuse io.

Just Wondering

Vodalone, you seem to dislike educators. It is evident in the tone of your writing.

vodalone

I love educators and I would love for them to be educating In the most efficient and effective way. If that’s not possible pay raises should be out of the question. It’s really that simple.

Hayduke2

Well, I am speaking based on teacher reactions and feedback. Are you commenting based on your interactions with actual teachers or just spouting what you think is happening?

DickD

Hay, I am wondering if you teach on line if you can't reduce the number of teachers. Parents of young children that I have spoken to are not happy with on line lessons and they are people I conside smart. I spoke with one teacher that thinks many, if not all, will want to redo the year after the pandemic is over.

Just Wondering

Teachers are not working less. They are working more to create online classrooms that entice and engage all learners.

ma23464

Tax revenues going down. People out of work. And the teachers get a raise. What a joke.

KellyAlzan

Hey how foolish of a comment

vodalone

How is that foolish? Teachers are not expected to do anywhere near what they were with In classroom teaching but are receiving a raise. That is what’s foolish about this.

KellyAlzan

Virtual or face to face all teachers deserve better pay. Teachers quitting left and right. Teacher Retention and child education are critical.

Sorry you can’t realize.

C.D.Reid

Teachers are quitting left and right, Plumbum? Kinda like the way the FCSO is killing people left and right now because Chuck Jenkins is sheriff?

bd0830

What a joke. We should be talking about what concessions they are willing to offer in lieu of them not being in the classroom. Raises... what a joke.

KellyAlzan

Dumb comment. Teachers and law enforcement need to be paid more

PurplePickles aka L&M

@ KellyAlzan

Agree with you 100% you get what you pay for when it comes to teachers and law enforcement.

bd0830

I totally agree. However, if the Sheriff’s deputies were only going to show up half the time then they should be paid half of their pay. As far as I know the SO received their contractually obligates raises and as far as I know they have been showing up to work this entire time.

These pathetic teachers and their union have forced the school district to remain closed, don’t get me started about online, online means closed. If they want to teach in person like the private school teachers will be doing then by all means give them raises.

KellyAlzan

Bd your commenting ignorant comments. Not even reasonable

Hayduke2

bd - man, you come across as a bitter and demeaning poster ( you know, using words like pathetic ). BTW, you base your claims on what factual data???

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