Don't work after hours, union advises teachers


County teachers were advised by their union last week not to volunteer for unpaid activities outside regular school hours next school year.

The Harford County Education Association, the 1,450-member union representing county public school teachers, asked teachers last week to stop school-related volunteer activity after school hours to protest the proposed wage freeze in the 1992-1993 education budget, said Christine Haggett, HCEA president.

After-school activities affected by the protest would include chaperoning events at high schools, supervising clubs in middle schools, and assisting students with studies in elementary schools, said Haggett.

"The county cannot fund education at a radically low level and expect business as usual to be conducted," she said.

The union is demanding that the County Council restore a 3 percent cost-of-living raise negotiated in a contract last winter and reinstate seniority step raises, which also have been frozen.

County employees, including teachers and other school employees, would not get raises for a second consecutive year under County Executive Eileen M. Rehrmann's proposed "no frills" $188.6 million operating budget.

Her proposal calls for an increase of 1.2 percent in the general operating budget, to $142.8 million, from the current fiscal year's $140.9 million.

The county Board of Education would get the largest single outlay -- $76.3 million, or 53 percent.

That's about $2.7 million more than the county gave the school board last year, Rehrmann said.

The increase would be used to hire teachers for a new Route 543 elementary school and a new Fallston middle school, both slated to open in 1993.

The plan is under consideration by the council, which must adopt a budget by the end of May.

Haggett said teachers' workday hours are 8:30 a.m. to 3:50 p.m.

"That is on paper only. Realistically, most teachers show up early, and many are there at 5 p.m. or later," she said.

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