``It's all part of a package,'' said Sultanik, who called the most recent negotiating session before a state-appointed mediator ``strained.''
``The union has a chip on its shoulder because we are asking them to work more days to improve education,'' he said.
Union president Bill McGill said yesterday that he ``was pleased to see the dialogue that took place and the board's movement on a salary offer, but it can't be all give'' by the teachers.
McGill said the union, which last month authorized a strike if talks prove fruitless, would consider the board's offer between now and Aug. 10, the next scheduled mediation session.
Most recently, the union proposed increasing salaries by about 7.5 percent in each year of the contract, eliminating employee contributions to health benefits, and reducing the number of workdays from 192 to 188.
Yesterday, McGill said the school board had declined a union request to place its salary offer in writing. He also disputed Sultanik's characterization of the salary proposal, saying it would amount to average raises of 2.3 percent a year because step increases would already amount to an annual rise of 1.5 percent in the teachers' payroll.
Currently, the teachers' average salary is $52,377, with a starting rate of $32,459 and maximum of $70,559.
Sultanik said the proposed language on professional standards included requirements that teachers remain current in their field, participate in staff development, interact with colleagues and parents, plan for instruction, and attend extracurricular activities.
``There are some teachers who could benefit from a kick in the pants,'' Sultanik said.
Teachers' raises, he said, would not depend on their success in meeting the professional standards, and performance would be evaluated through existing channels, such as annual reviews with their supervisors.
McGill called the proposed standards ``an insult,'' saying teachers already met or exceeded them.
``It's like [Sultanik] is trying to remediate a problem that doesn't exist,'' McGill said.
``Teachers also care about the quality of education,'' he said, pointing to a union proposal to limit class sizes.