About 80 public school workers marched on the D.C. Board of Education office yesterday, protesting what they say are stalling tactics by school system negotiators in current union contract bargaining for some 1,700 employees.
Carrying a large "report card" which gave the school administration an "A" for public relations and an "F" for labor relations, the protesters marched from the District Building to the 12th floor officers of the Board of Education two blocks away in the Presidential Building at 12th Street and Pennsylvania Avenue NW.
There, they met briefly with school Supt. Vincent Reed who said it was "not true that scheduled negotiating sessions have been broken" by school system negotiatiors as charged by the protesters.
"We're going back to the bargaining table Friday," he said.
The protesters are among some 1,700 school system secretaries, clerical employees, program assistants and community aides represented in talks for their first union contract by Council 20 of the American Federation of State, County and Municipal Employees.
Council 20 executive director Geraldine Boykin said school system negotiators have had a "deplorable truancy record" since bargaining began last April and specifically failed to show up for scheduled sessions on July 18, 21, 22, 23 and 24 and for a fact-finding hearing on Aug. 20.
Mary Heffernan, director of labor relations for the school system and its chief negotiator, refused comment yesterday, saying it would be inappropirate to discuss details while negotiations are under way.
George Margolies, legal assistant to Reed, said, however, that both sides have been unable to make scheduled meetings and it has been common practice for each side to notify the other in advance when negotiators could not attend a scheduled session because of conflicting engagements.