Evidence of a United Strategy?
Boy does this sound familiar:
“There is a process called negotiation by which issues get resolved,” James P. Dwyer III, a teacher, wrote in a Nov. 29 e-mail to School Committee member Stephen A. DeCastro. It was titled, Democratic Society. DeCastro read it at the committee’s meeting last Tuesday. He read his two-page response aloud as well. “Unfortunately, you have chosen to violate this with the proposal and vote at the Nov. 13 School Committee meeting. … The place to discuss contract changes is at the bargaining table.”
The contract for the local teachers union — the largest union representing the city’s school staff — doesn’t expire until October 2008, but it agreed to meet early to help the district with its “financial difficulties.” Dwyer said the union’s negotiating team offered proposals that would have saved the department “a significant amount of money,” but they were refused.
“One must question to what degree the School Committee really wants to foster trust and positive working relations with the professional staff within the East Providence schools,” Dwyer wrote. “Especially after the [health care change] vote was taken against the advice of legal counsel! I am appalled by the lack of thoughtfulness and disregard for the professional staff in our School Department.”
Who’d have thought that multiple municipalities would elect school committees that would rebuff unions’ brilliant and well-intentioned plans to save taxpayers money? It’s almost as if the unions are making proposals that they know will be rejected so they can then put fliers in local newspapers (as the Tiverton-NEA has been doing) decrying the school committees’ poor financial sense.