Teachers plan job action over furlough plan

November 13, 1991|By Lynda Robinson

Angered by Mayor Kurt L. Schmoke's plan to close Baltimore schools for five days, the Baltimore Teachers Union voted yesterday to stage a job action until he reconsiders the cost-cutting furlough.

Linda Prudente, a spokeswoman for the union's 6,800 teachers and 1,800 classroom aides, said that beginning today, members will work to the terms of their contract, meaning they will turn down hall duty, cafeteria duty, after-school meetings and other voluntary assignments.

About 1,000 teachers and aides packed yesterday's meeting and urged the mayor to reconsider the union's cost-cutting proposals, including an early-retirement program.

"We felt he hadn't exhausted all the options," Ms. Prudente said. "The membership was up in arms."

Teachers and aides stand to lose a week's pay after agreeing to defer their raises in September. They plan to protest Monday by marching from school system headquarters on North Avenue to City Hall.

Clint Coleman, a spokesman for Mr. Schmoke, said that despite opposition from teachers and parents, he does not think the mayor will change his mind about the February furlough.

Superintendent Walter G. Amprey, caught off guard by the union's plans, said, "I think it's unfortunate that the teachers union would not support the mayor."

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