Anne Arundel County Chief Administrative Officer Mark Hartzell released the following statement today on the misinformation circulating on social media regarding the school health services program within the Department of Health:
“I feel the need to correct some of the misinformation regarding our efforts to address compensation issues within the Health Department’s dedicated corps of school health professionals.
To be clear: our first priority is to strengthen our school nurse program and maintain the current level of service that our health professionals provide to ensure our children receive the best healthcare possible. The more than 300 dedicated nurses who take care of our children are going to stay in our schools.
The County has been having a series of informal discussions both internally and with leaders in the school health system on how to ensure a better quality of life for their members. For years, our health professionals have suffered minimal pay increases, a lack of benefits, and no real clear career advancement opportunities. The overarching objective is to address these long-standing issues.
Any option pursued by the County would have three goals for these current contract employees. First, we want to ensure competitive compensation for our health professionals. Second, we want to provide better benefits. Third, we want to provide opportunities for advancement.
It is unfortunate that this matter entered the public domain so prematurely and invited wild speculation regarding the Administration’s policy objectives. This review is at a very early stage, no decisions have been made, and no decisions are imminent.”