AFSCME-represented workers in the Prince George’s County, Maryland, school system will be getting significant raises in January that they wouldn’t have received if they’d hadn’t stood in solidarity.
More than 2,400 members of ACE-AFSCME Local 2250 have ratified an economic agreement that will result in higher pay for the 6,000 employees covered by that local. These employees hadn’t received step increases for three years because the Prince George’s County School Board had frozen such raises for that length of time. They did, however, receive modest cost of living raises.
Many will receive merit step increases averaging 4.8 percent. Those who are not eligible for a step raise will receive a slight bump in pay on Jan. 5, 2018.
This is a significant victory since management originally offered only a one-half percent pay increase in January and no step increase. The Prince George’s County School Board ratified the economic agreement on Nov. 9. Members of Local 2250 showed their unity by attending the meeting.
“As a newcomer into a union, it was great to see democracy in action,” said Latasha Bacote, a program liaison for three years for the county’s Before and After School Extended Learning Program. “As a member of the election committee, it was great to see the spirit of solidarity and moving forward. I got to see people becoming more involved, which had been missing.”
AFSCME members also voted to elect a contract advisory team, demonstrating a strong unified voice at the table. The team will begin negotiations as soon as possible to continue talks to secure a strong contract to lift the hardworking women and men in one of Maryland’s largest school districts.
Local 2250 represents virtually all the support staff in Prince George’s County schools, including bus drivers, maintenance staff, cafeteria workers, paraprofessionals, security officers and other educational support professionals.