Members of the Montgomery County Education Association are unsatisfied with MCPS’ transparency with negotiations
On Oct. 6, MCPS Superintendent Monifa McKnight claimed in a news release that unionized teachers in the Montgomery County Education Association (MCEA) are delaying negotiations over a three-year contract agreement. MCEA members declared that their objections to the negotiations are due to a lack of transparency from MCPS.
In the news release, McKnight asserted that MCPS officials are interested in transparent negotiations and had offered multiple opportunities for such engagements. For instance, according to McKnight, the school system previously agreed to salary raises, COVID-19 leave benefits and enhancing employee support.
During a news conference in Rockville outside the Board of Education offices on Oct. 6, teachers as well as candidates for state and county offices shared their opinions regarding the negotiations process.
MCEA members disagreed with McKnight, stating that there was a lack of transparency on the part of the school system. To change this, the union members explained that they wanted MCPS' negotiation sessions to be more accessible to their members and the public.
Democratic candidate for the 5th district county council seat Kristin Mink insisted that MCPS and members of the MCEA work together as a team to accomplish their goals. "[The school system should see teachers] not as an antagonistic entity, but as partners in a joint venture for success,” Mink said.
Overall, the morale of teachers has diminished due to the dissonance with MCPS regarding negotiations. The amount of teachers who resigned or retired during the 2021-2022 school year saw an increase of 130% from the 2020-2021 school year, rising from 775 to over 1000.
Furthermore, Danillya Wilson, a teacher at Wheaton Woods Elementary School, noticed that many teachers who have not yet retired or resigned are dispirited. “The morale of those who remain in the work is lower than we can ever recall,” Wilson said.
To date, members of the MCEA and school officials have not yet discussed the three-year contract. Both groups are still working towards setting the ground rules for negotiations.
Alex Feingold-Black. Hey! I'm Alex [he/him] and I'm a writer for SCO. Outside of school you can find me running laps around a track and eating from Potbelly's Sandwich Shop. More »