Tuesday, February 13, 2007

Breaking news for UTLA/ BTU/ Lee County

For the latest on teacher union strikes or negotiations, click here.

Looks like the machinations worked. Last minute agreement on Monday set the raise at 6% (retroactive to July 1, 2006) and a reduction of class sizes at the high school level to 41, middle school to 42. However, UTLA AJ Duffy promised to walk out on anything less that a 9% raise...so who won this one? You can read about it here, but this LA Times article is better. UPDATE: Here's the PDF contract highlights off of UTLA's website. Keep in mind this contract is tentative, their executive board and legislative assembly has to vote on it, then the membership has to ratify it.

The strike drums are beating even louder in Boston. BTU has been running a "smaller is better" TV spot since 2/3, you can see it on the BTU page here. News agencies are touting a one-day strike as happening on Thursday (the membership is assembling tomorrow night), though it will be interesting to see if the weather does anything to re-schedule the strike. UPDATE: Looks like the weather may play a role in delaying the strike vote.

BTU hasn't struck since 1993 and has been without a new contract since 2005. Boston is opening community centers, opening libraries early to warehouse the students who are not able to stay home and is going to pay $400,000 for this effort, simply because the board is unable to effectively negotiate. Read more about it here. Of course, the Mass conservatives weigh in here, and while I want to dismiss them, they do have a good point about the safety of students with the weather. Darren at Right on the Left Coast has a "can't we all just get along" post on the subject that tugs at the heartstrings a bit.

On a side note, Lee County teachers are still on strike. Most recently, concerned parents went to the state capitol to fight for teacher pay raises. THIS JUST IN: Union and board reps are meeting with a mediator today. Read about it here, though the article incorrectly states they've been on strike for 13 weeks-- it's actually 13 days folks.

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