The Carroll County Education Association yesterday refused to accepta county Board of Education proposal to delay salary negotiations for at least 60 days.
Harold Fox, chief negotiator for CCEA, which represents about 1,300 teachers, said that although teachers recognizethe uncertain economic conditions in the county, he could not acceptthe proposal without consulting union officials and other members.
"We are not prepared to say yes or no," Fox said.
Under the board proposal, negotiations would continue and tentative agreement would be reached on all issues but wages. The association representing administrators and supervisors accepted the plan last week.
The other organizations representing school workers, custodians and clericalworkers will receive the proposal this week.
Urging teachers to accept the proposal, Edward J. Gutman, the board's counsel and chief negotiator, said it was important for them to let local government andthe public know they understand the economic problems.
"We have made it perfectly clear that we understand what the problems are," Foxsaid.
In hoping to reach a tentative agreement, the board also sought CCEA's approval of a smoke-free workplace, a new insurance package and a requirement that teachers attend parent-teacher organizationmeetings.
Gutman said the board insisted on these three things toreach a tentative agreement.
"If we can work on these three things, other negotiating concerns will fall in place," he said.
Fox, though, vehemently objected to the meeting requirement. He said it would be unfair to require all teachers to attend PTO meetings when someelementary schools do not have such organizations.
In addition, he said it was unfair to place additional mandates on teachers in a year when they may be subjected to no pay increase and the issue of insurance has not been resolved.
"It's not something that is well received by our people," Fox said, adding he believed the issue had beendropped during earlier negotiating sessions.
Gutman said that school administrators had received complaints about teachers not attending the meetings. He said school officials didn't want to create the impression with the public that teachers were not actively involved.
"The problem is a few (teachers) make problems for many," Gutman said. "It creates the wrong impression with parents."