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Board, teachers wrestle over pay, leave

June 07, 1998|By DAVE McMILLION

The Washington County Teachers Association and the county Board of Education are at odds over pay increases and personal leave for teachers next year.

The Board of Education has allowed for a 3 percent increase in the teacher pay scale, but there is disagreement over how the money should be distributed, said Sharon Chirgott, teachers association president.

The board also wants to place more restrictions on how teachers use personal leave, Chirgott said.

The board wants teachers to use personal leave only for certain reasons, but teachers argue they should not have to give a reason for taking the days, she said.

"We're butting heads," Chirgott said.

The two sides have been negotiating for a new teachers contract for about three months, and are hopeful an agreement can be reached before the current one expires June 30.

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John Hull, acting human resources supervisor, would not comment on the negotiations. He is one of four teachers and administrators negotiating for the school board.

Hancock Middle-Senior High School Principal Boyd Michael, another member of the board's team, referred questions to Hull.

Washington and Prince George's are the only counties in Maryland that have not reached an agreement for a teachers contract next year, said Maxine Woodland, manager for research and collective bargaining at the Maryland State Teachers Association. All other districts in the state have approved raises for teachers ranging from 1 percent to 7 percent, Woodland said.

In Frederick County, the Board of Education and teachers ratified a contract Wednesday that gives a 4 percent across-the-board increase for teachers. School officials also worked out a 4 percent increase for support employees.

But the pay raises are in question because the Frederick County Commissioners did not completely fund the school district's proposed 1998-99 budget, said board spokeswoman Marita Stup Loose.

The contract for support personnel in Washington County does not expire until next year.

Washington County's salary negotiations used to be open to the public, but have been closed for the last several years, said Chirgott. She said both parties felt it was counterproductive to air some issues in public.

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