In a sign of protest, only about half of the 4,200 county teachers voted to accept a two-year contract with the Board of Education, citing "unreasonable" and "unyielding" negotiations.
More than 100 representatives from schools throughout the county brought informal votesfrom their schools with 1,839 yes votes and 270 nays.
Representatives from the Teachers Association of Anne Arundel County gathered in the cafeteria of Severn River Junior yesterday and voted to ratify the contract that calls for an adoption leave policy and allows guidance counselors to remain 12-month employees. But teachers will receive no pay increase this year.
Representatives voted, 103-4, in favor.
The school board compromised by allowing guidancecounselors to remain as 12-month employees. The board's initial 10-month proposal would have cost each of the school system's 140 counselors about $8,000 a year.
After the vote, Chesapeake Bay Middle history teacher David Chester stood and asked TAAAC President Tom Paolino to deliver a message to the school board.
"Though the numbers are high in favor of the contract, the negotiation process we went through this year was not smooth," Chester said. "It was not the way to go about it."
Other teachers grumbled about delays, including an impasse and extension of the contract from June 30 to September.
"The reps are saying to me that teachers understand the economic situation and the zero percent, but they are not happy about it," Paolino said. "The primary reason for the lack of response was the way negotiations were handled.
"There was a lot of stress and tension. Hopefully, now we can sit down this year with less hassle."
New contract talks will begin next month on issues of salary, planning time and personal business leave for the contract that will take affect in 1993.Teachers, as allowed under the just-approved contract, also will be requesting a pay increase for the second year of the pact.
"We arepleased that the county executive came forward and said that county employees can be asked to go one year without an increase, but not two years in a row," Paolino said. "Our demands will be reasonable."
The board is hoping to settle contract negotiations within the next few weeks with three other school unions representing principals, custodians and secretaries and assistants.