It might take some time, but Alexandria City Public Schools has opened the door to collective bargaining with its employees.
On Thursday, the School Board conducted its first work session on the topic, and Superintendent Melanie Kay-Wyatt says it could be two years before the issue comes to the Board for a vote. The Board has to develop a collective bargaining resolution (CBR) with staff representatives, who will iron out wage and other potential increases through a long process.
“It depends on how fast we adopt our CBR,” Kay-Wyatt said. “It could be a year, it could be a year-and-a-half, but I think we have to also watch the budget timeline. It could be two years. We hope that’s not the case.”
It took Alexandria nearly two years to negotiate collective bargaining for police and firefighters, who both saw increases in pay budgeted into the city’s recently approved fiscal year 2024 budget. Alexandria was first Northern Virginia jurisdiction to pass the measures for employee rights and wages in 2021, after former Governor Ralph Northam announced statewide implementation of the law in 2020.
“I’m really glad that we are getting ourselves moving on this conversation,” Board Member Kelly Carmichael Booz said. “It is long overdue.”
ACPS approved funds to develop an official ACPS plan and policy for collective bargaining with employees in its recently approved budget.
“The first thing to do is identify who are the interested parties and stakeholders in this whole endeavor,” said Steve Ray, an attorney with Isler Dare, P.C. who is advising ACPS. “The CBR is going to need to address what are the rights and authorities of ACPS… the rights of the employees’ exclusive representative, the scope of the bargaining, and how to resolve impasses, resolutions, and procedures.”
Dawn Lucas, president of the Education Association of Alexandria, said that she’s been looking to start this work for a long time.
“We look forward to working collaboratively with ACPS as it establishes collective bargaining rights.,” Lucas said. “We want the opportunity to collectively bargain for working conditions, forced labor, and things of that nature.”
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Time flies when you’re having fun! The T.C. Williams High School Class of 1973 will hold its 50th reunion July 21-23, 2023 in Alexandria. All graduates and their adult nears and dears are welcome. Events include a Friday evening icebreaker, Saturday dinner dance, and a Sunday brunch. For more information: tcwilliams73.com, 770.789.3534.
Spring Fling at Rising Sol Yoga School
Join us for a day of FREE hot yoga. Experience our class styles and meet our teachers. Buy a bite at the Bake Sale to benefit The Carpenter’s Shelter, peruse some special vendors, take advantage of in-person only discounts on