The Prince George's County Board of Education announced last night that it will offer its 6,000 teachers a one-year contract with no cost-of-living increase, a two-day shorter work year and a $186 flat payment for about one-third of the teachers.
In other action, the board voted not to tear down the Greenbelt Center Elementary School when it approved a five-year capital improvement plan that includes renovation of the Art Deco-style building.
School officials' original plan to demolish and replace the school drew protests from Greenbelt residents and historic perservationists, who said the structure is exemplary of the Art Deco style and on a par with the Chrysler Building in New York City.
While the contract terms for teachers generally followed recommendations made last week by labor arbitrator Seymour Strongin, the board did not include Strongin's recommendation to grant teachers the right to binding arbitration for contract grievances.
Teachers union president Paul Pinsky called the board action "a sellout," and contended that an informal agreement reached earlier in the day with Superintendent Edward J. Feeney had provided for binding arbitration. School spokesman Brian J. Porter denied last night that any such offer had been made.
Pinsky said that several board members and school officials told him that the board backed off the arbitration clause as a way to express their opposition to County Executive Parris Glendening's efforts to push board members into concluding negotiations with the teachers. The current contract expires Aug. 31.
The one-time payment would be limited to teachers who are not scheduled for a longevity increase this year.