News Release, St. Mary’s County Public Schools

LEONARDTOWN, MD – On February 20, 2020, tentative four-year agreements were reached between the Board of Education’s negotiating team and the Education Association of St. Mary’s County (EASMC) for certificated employees and education support staff. The agreement provides for the following:

• Annual salary improvement for all bargaining unit employees.
• Annual step progression on the salary scales for each year of the agreement.
• Salary scale adjustments in each year of the agreement:
• FY 2021: A 1% salary scale adjustment
• FY 2022: A 1.75% salary scale adjustment
• FY 2023: A 2% salary scale adjustment
• FY 2024: A 2% salary scale adjustment
• Improved Extra Pay for Extra Duty compensation.
• Enhancements to course tuition reimbursement including improvements that encourage non-teachers to earn their professional teaching credential, if interested.
• Extension of the new contract language through June 2024. The agreement will only be opened during its term if State of Maryland legislation requires compensation increases greater than those negotiated.
• Added deductible health insurance plans to retiree options.

Dr. J. Scott Smith, Superintendent of Schools, commented, “This agreement continues to move us toward a competitive and fair pay scale for our teachers and support staff. It also ensures benefits that meet our employees’ needs and invests in their professional growth. A four-year agreement allows us to forecast costs and budget accordingly so we can meet our future commitments. For our staff, knowing what they will earn for the next four years is reassuring and something people who work with children deserve.”

Ms. Liz Purcell Leskinen, MSEA UniServ Director and EASMC Chief Negotiator, stated, “EASMC’s extremely engaged and committed Negotiations Committee members volunteered nearly a year of preparation for bargaining and it paid off. EASMC and SMCPS shared a very fair and respectful process based on the needs and interests expressed by our members in light of the always far too scant resources. We look forward to a day when the Blueprint for Maryland’s Future will ensure enough resources, including highly qualified and motivated educators, for every student to have equal access to a great education.”

David M. Higgins II, Publisher/Editor

David M. Higgins was born in Baltimore and grew up in Southern Maryland. He has had a passion for journalism since high school. After spending many years in the Hospitality Industry he began working in...