School board President Michael Durso signs one of the agreements approved Tuesday evening. Credit: VIA MONTGOMERY COUNTY PUBLIC SCHOOLS

The Board of Education on Tuesday night agreed to salary increases for teachers, administrators and support staff in Montgomery County Public Schools over the next two years.

The agreements reached with the trio of labor unions that represent MCPS employees will cost the school system $130.3 million in total, but Superintendent Jack Smith said the district’s workforce is worth the investment.

“Montgomery County needs to stay on the forefront of compensation and benefits for the teachers who work in this school system,” he said.

Eligible teachers will get step increases—which move them one position up the wage scale—starting July 1. And substitute teachers will see their pay scales increase by 1 percent this summer, under the agreement between MCPS and the Montgomery County Education Association.

Effective July 2019, salary scales for teachers will increase by 1 percent, and all eligible employees will receive another step increase, according the negotiated agreement.

The agreement also helps teachers regain ground lost in a pay freeze several years ago; union members who missed a salary step in fiscal 2012 will move an additional spot up the scale Jan. 5, so long as they’re still working in a comparable position.

Some teachers who weren’t previously on the salary scale will be placed onto it, according to the agreement. Finally, employees whose yearly salary doesn’t increase in fiscal 2019 as a result of the agreement’s provisions will get a one-time bonus of $900 in their Oct. 26 paychecks.

Before the MCEA agreement was signed, union President Chris Lloyd spoke about how public education is the foundation of democracy.

“If we believe that, then those folks who work in schools and the teachers who work in schools are fundamental to that work,” said Lloyd, whose union has more than 14,000 members.

The school board also approved agreements with the Montgomery County Association of Administrators and Principals and Service Employees International Union Local 500.

Principals and school administrators are on course to see a 2 percent salary increase beginning in July and another 1 percent increase in July 2019. Eligible employees will also receive step increases each year.

Eligible members of SEIU Local 500 will also get step increases each year, and the salary scales for service workers will increase by 1 percent in fiscal 2020.  

School system spokesman Derek Turner said employees are considered eligible for step increases unless they’ve worked for MCPS for fewer than six months or have reached the highest pay possible for their salary grade.

The contract costs total $63.9 million in fiscal 2019 and $66.4 million in fiscal 2020.

Bethany Rodgers can be reached at