No Mystery to Contract Resolution
Ah, the magic of the Lincoln compromise:
Despite these tensions, Lincoln is an example of what a community can accomplish, even when money is scarce, says [Larry] Purtill, president of NEARI.
“What Lincoln shows is that both sides were willing, in a tough financial environment, to find a way to make sure that they reach an agreement so there is no work stoppage and programs continue and that teachers got what both sides thought was fair,” Purtill said. “Districts have to get creative, because both sides are realizing there is just not a lot of movement to be had on the money.”
If the article’s representation is accurate, there’s really no mystery to Lincoln’s accomplishment. Everybody understood that funds were limited, and holding steadfast to unrealistic increases in remuneration would only have bled funds from other necessary areas of the district’s budget, so negotiations centered around how best to shuffle around the dollars already allocated for the teachers. They dropped sabbaticals, picked up more healthcare costs, decreased healthcare “buybacks,” and tinkered with work hours to comply with state law while not incurring large costs. In return, they get raises.
I’d love to indulge in equivalence, but somehow the “both sides” construction doesn’t strike me as accurate when it comes to what Lincoln has done and what every other Rhode Island town must do.