Teachers, School Board Declare Impasse In Talks

April 28, 1991|By Greg Tasker | Greg Tasker,Staff writer

Differences on several issues, including working conditions and proposals for a sick-leave bank and a smoke-free workplace, have led the Carroll teachers union and the school board to declare an impasse in contract talks.

Meanwhile, the associations representing administrators and supervisors, food service and custodial workers have reached tentative agreement with the board for fiscal 1992, which begins July 1.

State Superintendent Joseph L. Shilling will determine whether animpasse exists between the Carroll County Education Association, which represents about 1,300 teachers, and the school board.

His decision is expected in about a week. Both parties planned to send letters to Shilling outlining the situation. If an impasse has been found to exist, the American Arbitration Association will mediate a settlement.

"Naturally, we're disappointed we couldn't reach a settlement," said Harold Fox, CCEA's chief negotiator. "The fact is that there remains disagreement on some key issues."

The board, represented byEdward J. Gutman, its chief counsel, did not agree to CCEA proposals,including a sick-leave bank, which would allow workers to donate a sick day a year to a bank for use by workers who have exhausted their own sick leave; additional planning time for teachers, especially at the elementary level; and a two-year contract, with no pay raises thefirst year but a commitment for salary increases the second year.

"Of course, we're disappointed," Gutman said. "Everything about thisyear has been a disappointment, including the financial situation. But that's the reality of this year."

CCEA, on the other hand, would not accept board proposals for a smoke-free workplace, to be implemented this summer at all school facilities, and to require teachers to attend three meet-the-teacher or back-to-school nights or other parent-teacher conferences scheduled by the principal each year.

"We cannot accept more mandates on teacher time," Fox said. "Teachers give dozens of hours to the school district every week."

The board initially offered teachers, as well as other workers, a 3 percent wage boost next year. However, because of the county financial crunch, theboard eventually revoked the offer and proposed no salary increases.

Workers, however, will continue to receive incremental and longevity increases, officials said.

The associations that have reached agreement with the board have agreed to no pay raises and the smoke-free workplace policy. The board has pushed that policy because of concerns about the hazards of secondhand smoke.

"One of the duties ofthe school board is to provide a healthful school environment," Gutman said.

The association representing clerical and secretarial workers is scheduled to meet Wednesday for further contract talks.

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