UPPER MARLBORO, Md. - Prince George's County schools CEO Dr. Kevin Maxwell sent a warning to all principals that they should be prepared for a possible teacher "sick out" Monday.
The "sick out" was prompted by unauthorized raises given to four employees in the District's central office.
FOX 5 obtained a letter from Dr. Maxwell sent to schools last week warning teachers they could face disciplinary action if they call out sick without a doctor's note.
CEO of @pgcps sent this alert to school leaders today warning of Monday’s teacher sickout. @PGCEA_PR has voted to Work To Rule starting Mon, but encouraged members not to call out sick @fox5dc pic.twitter.com/mrAdjKGMat— Lindsay Watts (@LindsayAWatts) March 16, 2018
"Although PGCEA has stated it does not support 'unprotected actions' such as 'organized sick out,' some employees are planning a 'sick out' on Monday. You may want to prepare for higher than usual teacher absences."
"They should be aware that 'sick outs' violate their Negotiated Agreement and are prohibited by law," said the letter.
Administrators were asked to report unusual and higher-than-normal absence requests.
"Also, if absences created any problems or disruptions to your building we need to know that as well," said Maxwell in the letter.
In a letter to members, the Prince George's County Educators' Association urged members not to call out sick.
BREAKING: @PGCEA_PR asks @pgcps educators to “work to rule” starting Mon. This means nothing extra, no unpaid time outside of work day. A big deal, teachers are fed up. Union says teachers should *not call in sick Mon as some had planned. @fox5dc pic.twitter.com/FfMwy5BCap— Lindsay Watts (@LindsayAWatts) March 15, 2018
"An organized 'sick out' is an unprotected activity that could have employee ramifications."
The union called for a "Work to Rule" action, from Monday through the school spring break, March 30. The action would be teachers shouldn't do anything beyond their required duties, including after school activities teachers aren't being paid to supervise.
"Members should walk in together at the beginning of the duty day and leave together at the end of the duty day (unless you have a paid assignment)."
The teachers' union says "Actions like working to rule, appearing at Board of Education meetings, contacting county and state lawmakers and networking with community organizations are proven to make a difference."