Arundel Digest

ARUNDEL DIGEST

December 19, 2003

School board OKs contract with secretaries, assistants

The Anne Arundel County school board has ratified a modified contract with the union that represents secretaries and teaching assistants, clearing the way for a 1 percent pay raise already approved by the school system's other bargaining units.

Secretaries had protested the board's 1 percent offer - a third of the raise they had initially expected - but finally accepted it because of the school system's difficult financial situation.

"We just basically agreed it's very tight and there's just no money in there," said Bernice Chorba, president of the Secretaries and Assistants Association of Anne Arundel County.

Chorba said she hopes the union's concession will pay off when it returns to the bargaining table next month to negotiate a two-year contract, to go into effect in July.

Among several demands, the union wants secretaries to be exempt from reporting to school on "code blue" days, when schools are closed because of inclement weather.

The contract was approved at Wednesday's school board meeting.

Mother accused of leaving young children unattended

An Annapolis woman was charged with reckless endangerment and other crimes after police said her two young children were left alone for nearly eight hours, city police said yesterday.

A resident reported on Wednesday that a 4-year-old and a 6-year-old were wandering near Tyler Avenue and Conley Drive. The children told police they were hungry and pointed out their home in the nearby 900 block of President St.

The children's mother, Rochelle A. Jones, came to the scene around 10 a.m., about 45 minutes after the children were found, and said she left them alone around 2 a.m.

Jones was arrested and was being held in the Jennifer Road Detention Center last night in lieu of a $3,500 bond.

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