The Prince William County school division and Prince William Education Association have agreed to a benefits and terms and conditions of employment collective bargaining contract, but the two sides failed to reach agreement on a wage proposal before the Dec. 1 deadline.
After eight months of negotiations, the two sides tentatively agreed to a three-year package of benefits and terms and conditions of employment that will need to be ratified by the School Board and employees.
“We are pleased to have reached a tentative agreement with PWEA on significant benefits that will continue to ensure we are the best place to work,” Prince William County School Board Chairman Dr. Babur Lateef said in a school division news release.
The agreed upon terms are as follows:
Paying teachers who teach summer school and extended school year their hourly rates.
A new short-term disability plan that covers employees after the first 30 days of employment at no cost to the employee.
Continuing to pay the same proportional share any health care premium increases.
Increased pay for teachers who teach an extra class during the workday.
Increasing supplements teachers receive for extracurricular duties, including the addition of supplements for middle school band assistants, choral directors, choral assistants and orchestra and drama teachers and elementary music teachers.
The two sides were unable to reach agreement on a wage proposal, which was one of the biggest sticking points throughout the collective bargaining process.
The School Board’s bargaining team offered a $64 million wage process that would have provided a 6% average salary increase, with a maximum 9% salary increase for certified staff with 12-18 years of experience.
The school division’s proposal also included for classified employees an expansion of the salary scale from 2.89% to 3% between steps, bringing pay equity between the classified and certified pay scales.
The union held steadfast throughout negotiations on a request for a 17% wage increase.
“We are disappointed that we could not reach an agreement on wages. The School Board and administration are committed to ensuring competitive wages for our employees even without an agreement,” Lateef said in the release.