… Board sought to reshuffle money to pay for negotiated 1.25 percent increase …
By Joe Burris, The Baltimore Sun
6:18 PM EDT, August 17, 2011
The Anne Arundel County Council denied this week the school board’s efforts to reshuffle existing funds within the approved budget to honor pay raises for teachers that the board had negotiated with the union.
Earlier this year, the County Council approved Superintendent Kevin Maxwell’s $964 million budget request for fiscal year 2012. The county sought a 1.25 percent pay increase for teachers as well as funding to meet rising fuel costs. The school system had asked the County Council to approve transferring $387,000 to the instructional salaries category to help cover the proposed pay increases.
School system spokesman Bob Mosier said Wednesday that the County Council’s decision leaves the board with three options: reopen negotiations with the union, offer another transfer request or “leave the money in the categories that they exist and try to meet the bottom line within those categories.” He said the school board has no timetable on revisiting the matter.
“I will say that what is inconsistent is that we have heard time and time and time again from the council, and particularly from the county executive, that money should be moved out of administration categories and into instructional categories. This is precisely what this action sought to do,” he said.
“To be very clear, we weren’t asking for a single additional penny from the county,” Mosier added.
Tim Mennuti, head of the Teachers’ Association of Anne Arundel County, said the union “is now caught in the middle. The County Council has the money and we cannot negotiate with them. The board of education does not have the money and we do negotiate with them.”
Copyright © 2011, The Baltimore Sun