D.C. teachers complained angrily yesterday that provisions in their proposed three-year contract would require them to work an extra half-hour each day without adequate compensation, and would not give them the job security they want.
Yesterday's meeting at Roosevelt High School marked the first time the city's teachers had met with the leadership of the Washington Teachers Union to discuss the tentative agreement. Led by Ballou High School teacher James Ricks, the teachers tried to introduce a motion that would have required union negotiators to go back to the bargaining table over the extended-day provision. But the attempt was rejected by union president William H. Simons.
In marked contrast to his positions of earlier years, Simons, who has led the 4,200-member union through two strikes, sought to impress on the teachers the difficulties of negotiating a contract in times of budget constraints.
"Where is the job security in this contract?" asked Arthur Haynes of Anacostia High School as the gathering of about 400 teachers burst into applause.
"If there are no funds for teaching positions in this system where do you get job security?" Simons shot back. " . . . I am simply suggesting to you that if you look at the times we are negotiating in . . . to try to get a guarantee that there would be no layoffs would be foolhardy and virtually impossible."
The 2 1/2-hour meeting came to an abrupt end as Woodson High School teacher Roland Rier shouted into a microphone, "This is no contract," and other teachers yelled, "Vote no!"
Earlier, some of the teachers pointed out that negotiators for General Motors employes agreed Sunday on a tentative contract in which they would forgo certain pay raises in order to save jobs. Simons retorted, "Let General Motors lose 2 million or 200 million dollars this year and I am quite sure . . . there will be layoffs in the auto industry."
Simons had mailed a copy of the tentative agreement to all members and requested that they vote by mail on the contract before March 31. If it is not ratified by then, the union must return to the bargaining table, and the matter might be submitted to binding arbitration.
The proposed contract would give the teachers a 21 percent pay increase over the three-year life of the contract. It would require the city's approximately 5,500 teachers to work an additional four days each year, but would not change the number of attendance days for children.
Teachers beginning a sixth year on the job would be required for the first time to earn a rating of better than satisfactory for job performance in order to qualify for a scheduled pay increase.
In return, teachers won the right to file a grievance against any rating by a principal. Teachers now can protest only if they have been given an unsatisfactory rating.
The union also won the right to collect from teachers who are not union members half the union's annual dues.