kitchen table math, the sequel: lgm on school boards and union contracts

Thursday, March 8, 2012

lgm on school boards and union contracts

lgm, reacting to no exit:
I wouldn't agree with a). [School boards] knew exactly what they were doing [when they negotiated contracts promising above-inflation increases in compensation forever.] Here it is illustrative to draw the family trees.. vendors that want b.o.e. business, union members' extended families - all have their interests represented on the b.o.e. Some of the comments we hear are that the income of the residents has been studied, and there is an assumption as to how much is wanted from the pockets. Those that cannot pony up need to move on.

For b) [voters signed off on these contracts], I dont' know about you, but in my district there is no line item vote by the people and there is no light on the union contracts either before or after the negotiations. People stood up at the budget meetings and objected to compensation well above private industry and against line item 10% salary raises for the ones that were spelled out rather than hidden up in the union contract. The answer every time was a smug smile and 'We have a contract', with some words to the effect that those employees not under a union agreement have had their wages frozen. Meanwhile, has the facts. In retirement, my kids' teachers are in six figures between the base salary and the part-time work, not without including the other bennies. Nice work, if you can get it.


Catherine Johnson said...

The idea of a local school board with vendor representation is .... pretty horrifying.

Catherine Johnson said...

I think contract negotiations should be public.

Our board (most boards, presumably) has always agreed with the union, up front, to keep everything secret.

As a result, parents never see the union refusing to make concessions.

They only see the school board as making cuts.

All the anger is directed at the board, none of it at the union.

SteveH said...

Yes, everything is secret. We just had an article in our town paper about whether salaries were public or not. The answer is yes, but you have to make special requests for specific information, and your request is public information.

I was on a parent/teacher school improvement team where someone made a safety proposal for after-school loading of busses that asked some teachers to stay an extra 5-10 minutes. One of the teachers (the union rep) declared that that "won't fly contracturally". The other teachers and administraters were horrified and hushed her up immediately. Parents are present. I guess the attitude was to let the meeting go along and then just ignore the proposal.