Prince George's Co. schools CEO, teachers' union caution staff over possible 'sick out' Monday

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.

"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.

"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."