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Letters to the Editor 2/28

March 05, 2001

Letters to the Editor 2/28



Bargaining bills: What they'd do for our schools



To the article:

An article appeared following the Feb. 2 meeting between the Washington County Board of Education and the legislators about the Board's opposition to the proposed changes in the collective bargaining bill.

I would like to take this opportunity to share with the public what SB 378 and HB 519 really would do for education negotiations.

The bill allows local school boards and association to discuss new proposals by creating a "permissive" category of bargaining, allows the education support personnel (ESP) in the nine Eastern Shore counties to engage in collective bargaining, refers labor matters to the already-established State Labor Relations Board, allows all ESP to bargain fair discipline and dismissal procedures, and allows part-time ESP (not substitutes) to engage in collective bargaining so their wages and benefits can be commensurate with the hours they work.

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The bill does not allow strikes, does not create a statewide agency fee (a fee paid by non-members for representation), does not provide for arbitration in the contract-negotiation process, does not force local boards of education to negotiate on educational policy, does not remove from the State Board of Education the jurisdiction to decide educational policy matters, and does not mandate local boards of education to agree to any specific bargaining language or proposal.

The Association has been charged with deceiving citizens with these supposedly innocent claims. These are the issues; there is no hidden agenda. MSTA and WCTA want to bargain for quality schools.

Employee input on issues like class size, calendar, assignments, curriculum, and safety is about quality schools; quality schools that directly benefit every child in Maryland.

Sharon Chirgott

President

Washington County

Teachers' Association




Thanks, Delegate for your position on new taxation



To the editor:

I just wanted to write and thank Delegate Joseph R. Bartlett,R-Frederick, Washington, for his courageous opposition to "any type of tax to help ease the financial woes of the Washington County Commissioners."

He knows, as the rest of us do, that the time has come for restraint in taxation - cuts, not increases.

The time has come for belt-tightening; for disciplined priorities in spending the taxpayers' money. It is easy to add a new tax or increase taxes but nearly impossible to lower taxes or remove them. We elected leaders like the Bartletts to take these principled stands and you can bet that by taking them he will win re-election.

Del John Donoghue is the one being disingenuous and dishonest. He needs to do what John F. Kennedy did - cut taxes, not raise them.

Edward L. James

Hancock




Our apologies to the fishes



To the editor:

Characterizing the Clintons and their cronies as "bottom-feeders" is a gratuitous insult to the catfish and carp families.

Larry D. Kump

Falling Waters, W.Va.

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