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Though Tuesday’s two-hour negotiation session between the Calvert County Board of Education’s negotiating team and the teachers union was mostly uneventful, the teachers remained firm that they should not have additional work days added to the calendar.

During negotiations for a new three-year teacher contract, the board’s team proposed that the teachers work 245 days per year rather than the current 230.

“Frankly with the limited pay raise you propose, there’s no way people will work more hours,” said Joseph Sella, the chief negotiator of the teachers union, the Calvert Education Association.

Though salary has yet to be negotiated, the board’s initial proposal included a 0.25 percent raise for teachers. The teachers, who have not seen a cost of living salary adjustment for the past two fiscal years, proposed that they receive a 5.5 percent raise.

The CEA was also against the board’s proposal to remove the concept of sabbatical leave from their contract, for which teachers currently receive half of their pay if they choose to partake.

“It looks anti-intellectual,” Sella said of removing the sabbatical option. “I think it’s well worth it for the school system.”

The teachers also wanted to add contract language stating that they will have the option to make up a planning period should they lose one due to professional development workshops.

“A planning period, to a teacher, is sacred,” CEA President Debbie Russ said.

At Tuesday’s negotiations, a bulk of the session was spent with both sides in caucuses among their teams. The caucuses lasted from 30 to 45 minutes and the two sides briefly negotiated at the table three times.

The two sides also discussed small language changes regarding articles on new job postings and negotiation policies.

No articles were signed and the two sides were scheduled to negotiate again on Thursday after time of press.

ldukes@somdnews.com