Board Unveils Proposal

March 03, 1991

The Carroll Board of Education, confronting uncertain state and local economies, last week asked the associations representing school workers to table further discussion on salaries for the 1991-1992 schoolyear for at least 60 days.

The Association of Public Administrators and Supervisors of Carroll County, which represents 104 administrators and supervisors, agreed to the proposal in a tentative contract reached last week.

The other four associations, which represent teachers, food service workers, custodians and clerical staff, are expected to respond tothe board proposal at negotiating sessions scheduled for this week.

Rather than continuing to negotiate salary increases it may not beable to afford, the board is seeking the delay for a minimum of 60 days. The board had proposed a 3 percent wage increase to school workers during earlier negotiating sessions, which began in November.

Since that proposal was unveiled, however, the school system, like other county agencies, has been asked to trim 1 percent of its current $100 million budget. In addition, the board is expected to trim 2 percent from its proposed $110 spending plan for the 1991-1992 school year, which is now under consideration by the County Commissioners.

Under the board's proposal, negotiations will continue and tentative agreement will be reached on all issues except salary increases.

Ina statement released Friday, the board called the proposal "a good faith effort" by its members and the superintendent to be "open and honest with employee groups about the effect of the economic conditionson the school system's budget."

The tentative contract with administrators and supervisors includes:

* Improvements in employee costs for health insurance. The board will pay a greater share of its Custom Comprehensive plan, which covers 80 percent of the "usual and customary" medical costs. A similar proposal has been offered to the other bargaining units.

* An agreement to study a health-insurance proposal submitted by the bargaining units. School officials, representing the school board, said the plan contained items of merit but needed additional study. The employee endorsed plan would allow workers to choose from three options, all significantly different than the three options now available.

* A provision for a smoke-free workplace for all members of the association. The board called the provision a positive step to Carroll schools becoming the first in the state tohave a smoke-free workplace.

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