The Board of Education of Anne Arundel County today unanimously approved a one-year agreement with the Association of Educational Leaders (AEL) for Fiscal Year 2017 that provides a cost-of-living increase for all members of the bargaining unit and extends a pilot professional leave program instituted last year.

The agreement, which expires on June 30, 2017, was approved by AEL members on December 6, 2016. It provides, retroactive to July 1, 2016, a 0.97 percent salary increase for all members in lieu of a step increase for eligible members. The change agreed to by the Board and AEL was made based upon recommendations from an independent mediator to fund raises for those bargaining unit members who would otherwise be ineligible for step increases. AEL represents principals, assistant principals, and content area coordinators across the school system.

“The process to get to this agreement has been a long and time-consuming one,” Board President Stacy Korbelak said. “The Board is pleased that we now have an agreement in place that rewards, as best we can, our hard-working administrators.”

The agreement also continues the professional leave pilot program through the current fiscal year. That program allows AEL members to use professional leave, as opposed to annual leave to compensate for time spent working night events such as athletics and concerts. The value of that leave for AEL employees is between 1.15 percent and 1.93 percent annually, depending on the position.

The Board approved an agreement with the American Federation of State, County, and Municipal Employees Local 1693, whose membership includes facilities and maintenance personnel, in June. It also approved an agreement with the Teachers Association of Anne Arundel County in September.