Five unions representing Anne Arundel County school and government workers entered a pact yesterday to become a political force and support each other in the workplace.
Formation of the Coalition of Anne Arundel County Public Employees comes a month after county and school employees failed to win a 3 percent pay raise and as County Executive Robert R. Neall has moved to privatize several county offices. The County Council voted to include money in the budget for a 3 percent increase for county workers, but Mr. Neall refused to grant it.
Officials of several unions have said they would like to thwart Mr. Neall's political career. The Republican county executive is considering a run for governor in 1994.
Representatives from each of the unions included in the pact gathered yesterday at Teachers Association of Anne Arundel County headquarters on Riva Road to sign a paper formalizing the coalition.
Among the group's nine goals are to "provide a forum in which to interview, support and endorse candidates who seek election or appointment as public officials" in the county, the bylaws state.
The unions have not put a pool of money into their group and are not likely to, said Charles LoCascio, executive director of the Teachers Association of Anne Arundel County and one of the new organization's co-presidents.
The other co-president is Helen Simpson, president of the America Federation of State, County and Municipal Employees Local 2573, which represents government workers.
All four unions representing public school workers signed on yesterday, though just the lone AFSCME unit from county government did. But, Mr. LoCascio said, four other government workers unions -- representing police, detention center workers and sheriff's employees, along with a second AFSCME local -- had helped put together the coalition and are expected to sign on next month.
Mr. LoCascio said he had not heard back from the firefighters union, which had been the only union to back Mr. Neall when he ran for county executive.
In the past, there have been single-issue coalitions among unions, but they have dissolved quickly. Union officials say this association is different because it is designed to be long-lasting, address issues that transcend the various groups and open communication between them and county government.