Leaders of the Prince George's County Educators Association urged their 6,800 members yesterday to approve a 25-month contract agreement reached with school Superintendent Edward J. Feeney late Tuesday night.
The contract, which calls for a cumulative increase of 10 percent in the first year and as much as 7.7 percent in the second year, depending on the inflation rate, is substantially the same one that the union's 300-member representative council overwhelmingly rejected on June 18.
Union president John Sisson nevertheless said the agreement stood a good chance to be ratified, possibly removing the threat of a strike.
"We became convinced that this is as far as we could go in the process," said Sisson of the sometimes heated nine-month negotiations that were punctuated by wildcat sickouts by hundreds of teachers last February. Sisson said the union's 11-member executive board feared that if the contract ran out, "We could end up with less than when we started. In the absence of a contract, the Board of Education is empowered to set its own salaries."
Under the proposed settlement, the salary for the average teacher with 12 years experience and a master's degree will rise from $22,466 to $28,324 at the end of the two years. That increase also would include increments gained by two additional years of experience.