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Education support staff in Prince George’s County, MD win new contract, bringing wage increases, bonuses and more.

Photo: ACE-AFSCME Local 2250
 Education support staff in Prince George’s County, MD win new contract, bringing wage increases, bonuses and more.
By Cyndy Flores ·
Tags: Momentum Wages

In June, members of ACE-AFSCME Local 2250 ratified their newest collective bargaining agreement with the Board of Education of Prince George’s County, Maryland, significantly improving their wages and working conditions.

This new contract covers over 6,000 educational support employees in the school district across 200 job classifications, including secretaries, educational aides, bus drivers and bus aides, food service staff, central garage workers, building services and nurses.

Workers saw a 5% wage increase at the beginning of the fiscal year in July and will receive annual 4% wage increases in each of the next two years. Additionally, all permanent employees received a $1,000 retention bonus. The contract also extended daily hours for part-time employees such as food service workers, bus drivers and bus aides, giving them a minimum of five hours a day.

"Most educational support employees continued to work through the pandemic, putting our health at risk to ensure students and their families received the support they needed,” said Princella Rather, Executive board member for ACE-AFSCME Local 2250. “These significant wage increases help staff feel valued and appreciated – and help us take care of our own families.”

With the teacher shortages growing over the last two years, support staff tasked with additional duties will now see differential pay for their work. Paraprofessionals who work with special needs students will see an additional 3% wage increase. Support staff who are assigned substitute teaching duties will also receive an additional $18 an hour, in addition to their regular wages.

The contract also included significant improvements to working conditions and paid time off. Staff will now have stronger protections against workforce reductions. Additionally, workers will now receive paid time off for parental leave, which they were not offered before.

For this round of negotiations, more Local 2250 members had an opportunity to provide negotiation proposals and feedback on the tentative agreement before it was voted on. Each chapter also had a contract committee that solicited feedback from members. The contract passed with 95% support.

“This contract is a historic benchmark for all education support personnel – with significant wins by our union,” said Martin Diggs, president of ACE-AFSCME Local 2250. “We were able to win paid parental leave and stronger wages because we stuck together as a union. Our bargaining team was committed to making major improvements to our contract, and we are grateful to have dedicated members who are willing to step up and fight for us.”

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