Friday, March 16, 2007

National Negotiations Update #6


Salinas-- The Salinas Valley Federation of Teachers has successfully filed for impasse; a mediator from PERB will be coming soon to help wih negotiations.

Contra Costa-- While a neighboring district foolishly gave up health insurance several years ago in exchange for more take home pay, West Contra Costa teachers just want to be average-- in pay, that is. Citing information that shows they are one of the lowest paid teachers' unions in the area, the teachers went to a recent board meeting. Interestingly enough, the school board voted themselves about a 30% pay raise; the teachers are only asking for about 7.6%. In a more recent article, talks have stalled so a mediator is on their way.

Hesperia-- The Hesperia Teacher's Association is at the bargaining table. One of the major things this 850 member strong union is asking for is full time release for their President, and for the district to pay for it. Sounds reasonable until you realize the district is going into debt to build elementary schools. Does it still sound reasonable?


Chicago-- If you want to teach in Chi-town, you have to live there too. It's a provision in the contract called residency, but it may not be around for much longer. A bill that outlawed it sailed through the Illinois House, and it will probably do the same thing in the Senate.

Elgin-- Elgin Community College avoided a strike at the last minute by their work at the negotiating table.


Rockport-- Teachers from the Megunticook Teachers Association packed a recent board meeting to protest the fact they've been working without a contract since September of 2006. You can read about it here, or read what the MTA's Co-Chief Negotiator said to the board.


Zanesville-- In the last NNU I mentioned Zanesville Education Association and the school board using words like "friend" and stuff like that during negotiations. Negotiations only lasted 2 days, and beginning Monday, rank and file will vote on the tentative contract. There are no raises for next school year, but next year the union has the right to reopen negotiations on that specific issue. If you're interested, here is the actual text of the tentative agreement.

Cincinnati-- Sue Taylor was elected President of the Ohio Federation of Teachers, filling the vacancy left by Tom Mooney's passing. She is currently the President of the CFT (Cincinnati) and will remain as such until new officers are elected in April.


Pittsburg-- Pittsburg Education Association has declared impasse with their negotiations with the Pittsburg School board. One bee in their bonnet: the district increased their health care costs while in negotiations. That has never done before by the district.

Hempfield-- Hempfield Education Association will meet with a fact-finder on March 27th, as will the school board. The union narrowly averted a planned strike in February to agree to non-binding fact finding. The report should be back in the mail on April 2nd to the two groups.

York-- Central York Teachers and the school board ratified a new contract. The board President was quoted as saying ""An average increase of 5.38 percent is certainly not in line with what our taxpayers see. I do not believe it's our responsibility to keep up with the Joneses." Commentary: Yes it is. If you don't, your students' parents will up and move into the Joneses' school district, taking their funding with them.


Nashville-- Metro Nashville Education Association and the Metro Nashville School board have reached a one year contract agreement in a record one day. You may remember this district being the subject of a post of mine regarding the inanities of a briefly appointed (former) school board member.


Houston-- The current President of the Houston Federation of Teachers is being challenged for her job by an executive board member. This is most certainly direct fallout from the fiasco created by the merit pay program that the school board adopted earlier in the year. Allegations have been leveled against the President by the challenger, including the fact that the current President pays her son $4k per month as a retainer fee for legal services.

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