City Teachers To Picket Over Planning Time
BALTIMORE -- Baltimore city school teachers concerned about their contracts are planning to set up what they call informational pickets. They said the goal of the picketing is to put pressure on the administration to sign on the dotted line. City teachers agreed over the summer to work only those hours called for in the contract, refusing to take part in before- and after-school activities. The teacher's union is currently vowing to go a step further by setting up informational pickets this week outside at least three schools. "It will inform the public. We will be asking them to contact the school board in support of us, and let them know that teachers in Baltimore city are working without a contact, and they are to support this effort," said Marietta English of the Baltimore City Teacher's Union. The union said the main sticking point in the contract is teacher planning time. City School Chief Executive Officer Dr. Andres Alonso said that the contract dispute really boils down to a simple request by the administration. "The board and I have asked for one planning period a week to be used for common planning time or professional development at the discretion of the principal. I hear I'm trying to take away planning time. That's ridiculous," he said. "We are talking about planning time, time that is precious to teachers and time that they need to plan their lessons to mark papers to get prepared for the next class," English said. The union said that until there's a new agreement, teachers will continue to work by the terms of their old contract. WBAL TV 11 News learned that the Baltimore city teachers union is not pleased with the school board or Alonso. The union said it is prepared to take a vote of no confidence as it relates to the contract controversy.