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Harford school board approves 3-year contract with teachers


The Harford County school board ratified a contract with its teachers last night.

In a unanimous vote, the board passed a contract that many teachers had complained was not good enough in light of the system's recent strong showing in statewide tests. Dissatisfied teachers had faxed, called and sent letters to the board and the teachers union, the Harford County Education Association, complaining that the contract involved a complex salary restructuring that benefited some teachers and not others.

Despite complaints, the contract, which covers the next three years, was ratified earlier by members of HCEA with 54 percent voting for the contract and 46 percent rejecting it.

School board President Robert Thomas thanked the union last night.

"I just want to congratulate HCEA for working with our negotiating team in terms of the salary restructuring, which I think in the long run will certainly be the best for our county," said Thomas, who last week along with other school board members met with teacher representatives to hear their concerns.

The contract is part of a proposed $223 million school operating budget for 1999-2000. The plan includes $9.8 million for a salary package that officials said would make Harford salaries more competitive with other area school systems.

Under the contract, no teacher would get less than a 2.7 percent increase. However, raises would vary depending upon length of service and credentials. The board also ratified contracts with other school employees.

Pub Date: 2/09/99

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