Board, HCEA have tentative accord on fee

November 21, 2007|By June Arney

The Board of Education and the Howard County Education Association announced a tentative agreement Monday on the terms of a representation fee that was authorized by the legislature this year.

The legislation specifies that Howard County public schools negotiate parameters for a reasonable service fee with the teachers association and requires negotiations with HCEA/ESP, which represents paraprofessionals.

Representation fees are charged to employees who are represented by an agency or union but are not members. The fees cover the cost of services that the association is required to provide to nonmembers such as negotiations, contract administration, including the handling of grievances, and other activities.

The board does not set the representation fee. It is calculated by an independent audit and generally represents a percentage of the membership fee.

Current employees are not subject to the representation fee, which will apply only to people hired by the school system on or after Dec. 1. Student assistants, food service workers and all school system employees with annual salaries of $20,000 or less also are exempt from the fee.

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