The board of directors of the Prince George's County teachers union voted yesterday to send its negotiators back to the bargaining table rather than accept the contract offered by the county school board.

The negotiation team had agreed Thursday to present a tentative contract proposal to the board of directors. If the board had accepted, the proposal would have been sent to 7,000 county school teachers for ratification.

"After a long, heated and very intense meeting, the board directed the negotiating team to go back to the table but did not declare an impasse," union president Toby Rich said.

Although details of the proposed settlement have not been made public, sources have said that the school board voted last week to offer the teachers a package of wage increases and benefits amounting to a 7.3 percent increase over the present contract, which expires June 30.

The package reportedly included at least a 4.5 percent increase in wages and a health insurance plan that would allow teachers to pay only part of the cost for prescription drugs.

The cost of the new teachers contract will be added to the $271 million budget the school board has already submitted to County Executive Lawrence J. Hogan. Last year's contract, which granted the teachers a 6 percent wage increase, cost the board more than $10 million.

Rich said the negotiating team hopes to return to the table on Monday.