Teachers would get 2 raises, after halting suit Union to vote Wednesday on proposed 2-year contract

September 02, 1993|By Carol L. Bowers | Carol L. Bowers,Staff Writer

A proposed two-year contract would give Anne Arundel County teachers two raises in 1994, in exchange for their dropping a lawsuit to reclaim money they lost when they were furloughed four days in 1992.

The agreement was presented last night to representatives of the Teachers Association of Anne Arundel County (TAAAC). Union members and other school employees are scheduled to (( vote on it Wednesday, said TAAAC President Thomas J. Paolino.

Teachers have not had a negotiated salary increase since July 1990.

"We're very pleased with the settlement we reached Tuesday," Mr. Paolino said. "It's a step in the right direction that shows the school board is committed to doing something for its employees."

The contract proposal, which also affects nonunion members, calls for a 2 percent raise on Jan. 1, 1994, and a 4 percent raise the following July 1, Mr. Paolino said.

Jim Goodwyn, lead budget analyst for the school system, said the 2 percent January raise will cost the school system an estimated $2.5 million, not including benefits, retirement or Social Security costs.

"Add 4 percent on top of that, and the second raise will cost about $10 million, not including the other costs," Mr. Goodwyn said.

The average salary of a county teacher this year is about $H $40,500, he said. After the first raise, a teacher being paid the average salary would be making $41,310, Mr. Goodwyn said. The second raise would boost the average salary to $42,960.

"That makes the raise a little larger than a straight 6 percent raise," he noted.

Mr. Paolino warned that the union takes this financial commitment seriously.

Teachers were not awarded a salary increase this year, even though the County Council had included money for it in the 1993-94 budget.

"If the raises don't come through, we have reserved the right to proceed with the lawsuit," he said.

The teachers, as well as secretaries and assistants, had sought about $4.3 million in back pay to make up for the days they were furloughed.

Teachers received back about four-fifths of a day's pay in April. The Board of Education told them that state aid to local governments had not fallen off as much as feared.

Teachers also won another key provision in the new contract proposal: the right to be notified if a student with repeatedly violent behavior is placed in their classrooms.

The Board of Education had allowed students suspended for violent behavior to seek a transfer to a new school, where only the principal would be told the student's history.

Mr. Paolino argued that teachers needed to know the student's background to protect themselves and other students in the classroom.

Talks between the teachers union, which represents 3,900 teachers, and the Board of Education broke down in March over the salary and violence issues. For the third year in a row, an arbitrator was called in.

Mr. Paolino said that some of the contract provisions, including the salary increase, were the result of the intervention.

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