A group representing 85 percent of Alexandria's school teachers yesterday said its executive board has approved a vote of no confidence in Alexandria School Board Chairman Lou Cook and Superintendent Robert Peebles.
The Education Association of Alexandria, which claims to represent about 625 of the city's teachers, said the board's unanimous vote Tuesday night came in response to the school board's action last week approving a 3 percent pay increase for school employes and adoption of several controversial personnel procedures.
Association President Hazel Rigby said teachers will wear campaign buttons to class Friday and would not rule out any future job actions short of a strike. Strikes by public employes are illegal in Virginia, and local governments are not permitted under state law to bargain with public employe groups.
"We consider this vote a ground level" action, Rigby said. She suggested teachers might adopt a "work to the contract" stance, meaning they would strictly adhere to what their contracts require and would, for example, refuse to do any evening work or voluntary course preparation.
Rigby charged that the school board, particularly Cook, had been unresponsive and abusive to teachers. The 3 percent cost-of-living raise, Ribgy said, will lead more teachers to "look for other jobs. . . other careers."
The personnel policies to which teachers have objected include:
* A plan to track each teacher's use of sick leave by computer, in an attempt to pinpoint cases of sick-day abuses.
* Use of a new "unsatisfactory" category in evaluations, which could prevent some teachers from receiving pay increases.
* A plan to allow the school administration to exempt 10 teachers a year from normal reduction in force procedures.
Neither Peebles nor Cook could be reached yesterday for comment.