Craig’s Statement on Veto of Teacher Bonuses

9:54 AM EST, December 16, 2011

The following is the complete text of Harford County Executive David R. Craig’s statement about his veto that will keep school employees from getting bonuses approved Tuesday night:

“In light of recent statements issued by the Harford County Education Association (HCEA), and its intent to subvert actions of this administration and the County Council to issue a one-time bonus to Harford County Government and Board of Education employees, I will be exercising power granted to me by Section 311 of the Harford County Charter to issue a line item veto on Bill 11-54 As Amended to strike the fund appropriation to the Board of Education.

“HCEA’s attempt to hijack this fund appropriation to support its case before the Maryland Public School Labor Relations Board in an effort to secure the unfunded recurring salary increase previously negotiated with the Board of Education places the county in a financially unsustainable position that I cannot support at this time.

“Upon resolution of the matter before the Maryland Public School Labor Relations Board, I will decide with the County Council whether to re-introduce legislation to restore funding for a true one-time bonus to Board of Education employees. It was my intention during the outset of this proposal that this be a one-time non-recurring expense, and that all employees be treated equally.

“As a 34 year educator and a former member of HCEA, I am deeply disappointed in its leadership and their efforts to co-opt this legislation. I applaud the other Harford County Government and Board of Education unions on their leadership, collaboration, and cooperation in recognizing the true intent of this bonus proposal. I am dismayed that a simple act of providing employees with a holiday bonus has been perverted for political gain at the expense of Harford County taxpayers and Board of Education employees.

“I look forward to being able to pass a bill for the Board of Education which will not become a union exhibit in a Maryland Public School Labor Relations Board case, and hope that this issue can be put behind us so that bonuses can be issued to Board of Education employees as was intended.”

The Line Item Veto does not affect bonus payments to Harford County Government Employees, Sheriff’s Office employees, or employees of the Harford County Public Libraries.

Copyright © 2011, The Baltimore Sun

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