Salary talks with teachers may hit impasse

March 08, 2002|By Tanika White | Tanika White,SUN STAFF

The Howard County Board of Education and county teachers may be headed toward an impasse in this year's salary negotiations, according to a bulletin distributed to Howard County Education Association (HCEA) members this week.

Association officials and Superintendent John R. O'Rourke refused to comment about the possibility of an impasse, saying the negotiation process is confidential.

But an association flier obtained by The Sun yesterday warned members that "despite numerous counterproposals by [association leaders] in a good faith effort to bring about resolution, the [school board] was adamant in its rejection of all remaining language issues as well as our counterproposal on [salary increases]."

According to the flier - printed on association letterhead - the negotiations team last met with the school board Feb. 22. The team then met Monday with O'Rourke, "prior to submitting a request to the State Superintendent of Schools Nancy S. Grasmick to declare an official impasse," the bulletin reads.

The flier said O'Rourke agreed to present the information from that meeting to the school board "in one last effort to reach a tentative agreement."

If the school board does not accept the final offer, the flier indicates, "the HCEA Board of Directors will be presented with a recommendation to declare impasse."

If that occurs, the board and the teachers will have to mutually agree on a mediator to help the two parties come to settlement.

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