A commitment to the teachers

July 01, 2011

Editor:

In its June 24 article entitled "Teachers union taking steps toward impasse," The Aegis stated that Harford County Education (HCEA) is asking for a raise for the teacher it represents. While the HECA remains committed to ensuring that teachers receive a level of compensation commensurate with their critical role in our community, HCEA's request specifically related to asking that the school system honor the pay scale as it currently exists.

The teacher salary schedule contains steps where teachers can advance based on years of experience in the classroom. So long as they have earned a satisfactory evaluation, each year a teacher would normally advance to the next level. That was the case until 2009/10 school year when the salary schedule was frozen. Teachers hired in 2008/09 and after are locked in their current position, unless they can increase their salary by increasing their education level. The difficulty arises when Harford County Public School System (HCPS) hires new teachers with outside teaching experience. A teacher that began their career outside of Harford County in 2008/09 that is hired for the 2011/12 school year is paid as a fourth year teacher. An new teacher hired by HCPS in the 2008/09 school years is still paid as a first year teacher, not a fourth year teacher.

Our teachers need to be compensated for their years of successful service. It is difficult for experienced Harford County teachers to work side by side with newer employees with the same years of experience who are getting higher pay. HCEA is only asking for what is fair.

Randy Cerveny

President of the Harford County Education Association

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