School staffers job action urged over pay raises

July 12, 1994

Public school secretaries in Anne Arundel County won't be working through their lunches or putting in overtime for the rest of the summer.

The union representing the secretaries and teaching assistants, who work 12 months a year, told its members yesterday to begin working to rule to protest what it calls the school board's attempt to renege on a promised longevity raise.

"In the summer secretaries work about 20 to 30 hours a week overtime in order to get everything done for when schools open in August," said Dee Zepp, president of the Secretaries and Teaching Assistants Association of Anne Arundel County.

"They work on handbooks for parents and students, pull files for graduates and get ready for new students coming into the school," she said. "And the telephone calls never stop. There's an incredible amount of work, and often they stay after, or take work home or come in early to get it done."

If the school board keeps its word on the raises, "we'll do our jobs," she said.

SAAAC is the first of four unions representing school employees to initiate a job action, though other unions are threatening it. The unions together represent about 7,400 employees.

Budget analysts and an associate superintendent have said the board wants to renegotiate because the fiscal 1995 budget contains less money than expected. The board asked for $444 million, but the County Council approved $408 million.

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