School board accepts bulk of arbitration Assistant transfers remain an issue

July 22, 1993|By Anne Haddad | Anne Haddad,Staff Writer

The Carroll County Board of Education has agreed to all but one recommendation by an arbitrator in its offer to the Carroll Association of School Employees to settle a contract with the union.

The board voted 4-1 yesterday to endorse Superintendent R. Edward Shilling's compromise offer on transferring teaching assistants.

Mr. Shilling proposed to offer the union the same 3 percent salary in

crease, medical insurance and language on dismissals that the board negotiated with other employees.

But he said he disagreed with one of the arbitrator's recommendations -- a seniority-only criterion for transfers of teaching assistants -- because that conflicts with the interests of special education students.

The union represents teaching assistants, clerks, licensed practical nurses and health assistants.

Its president, Sharon Fischer, declined to comment on the offer. She said she would seek clarification on

the offer before taking it to the union membership for ratification.

Currently, seniority is the only criterion administrators use for involuntary transfers of teaching assistants, and the union wants it to stay that way.

When negotiations began in March, the board sought to use seniority only within categories, such

as special education, Head Start and other specific programs.

Yesterday, Mr. Shilling offered to create two categories, one for special education and one for all other programs. That would prevent transferring a special education assistant to fill a Head Start vacancy at another school, for example.

Board member Joseph D. Mish voted against the measure.

"It's a fair compromise," he said. "However, the process has gone now through arbitration. I just feel that because of the process and the integ

rity of the process, we should honor [the arbitrator's report] in its entirety."

After negotiations in March and April ended in an impasse, the board and the union hired arbitrator Seymour Strongin of Chevy Chase and met with him June 8. He issued his report two days later.

The union's board voted last month to support all of Mr. Strongin's recommendations.

The school board did not discuss the issue until yesterday.

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