Teachers, School Board Agree On Tentative Pact

Deal Includes 2.5 Percent Raise

Vote Set Tomorrow

April 29, 1992|By Donna E. Boller | Donna E. Boller,Staff writer

The county teachers union has reached a tentative salary agreement with the school board that will give longevity increases to eligible teachers and 2.5 percent raises to those at the top of their pay scales.

Teachers, principals and supervisors are to vote by tomorrow night on the salary agreement reached Monday by Howard County EducationAssociation and school board negotiators. The agreement would cover about 2,300 professional school system employees.

School custodial and maintenance workers voted earlier to ratify a contract that will give them 3 percent across-the-board pay raises in 1992-1993. The workers are represented by the American Federation of State, County and Municipal Employees, which has about 230 membersin the school system unit.

The cost of the tentative agreements was unavailable Tuesday. Superintendent Michael E. Hickey said he wants his supplemental budget request to reflect the total needed for raises for all school system employees. He plans to delay the request toCounty Executive Charles I. Ecker until board and HCEA negotiators reach a tentative pay agreement for secretaries and instructional assistants.

An agreement for the about 400 secretaries and assistants could come today. The two sides have what HCEA President James R. Swab called a "critical" negotiating session scheduled today.

The longevity increase varies from about 2 percent to 8 percent, but for most affected employees, it would be about 3 percent, said Robert S. Lazarewicz, school system director of operations and a board representative in contract talks.

Swab declined comment on the tentative agreement until members finish voting. The union's executive board and representative council, made up of teacher representatives from each county school, recommended endorsement.

Teachers are in the second year of a three-year contract that would have given them 6 percent annual raises plus longevity increases for those eligible. However, the school board had to abrogate the raise in the current school year because of budget cuts.

Maintenance and custodial workers gained two non-salary points that were important to the members, said George F. Gisin, staff representative for AFSCME Local 1899. The contract now calls for binding arbitration of disputes and bars firing without justcause.

Hickey said he felt "very good that we reached agreements with both these groups and I think a lot of credit goes to them and to their membership, especially HCEA who had to look at a three-year contract that was no longer financially viable."

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