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Thursday, September 22, 2011

Tacoma Teachers Approve Deal

Seattle Times story: Tacoma teachers approve deal by 99% vote

School starts again on Friday.

6 comments:

dan dempsey said...

The usual yahoos that scream about public sector salaries and unions are at it again in the Times comments that follow the story.

Anonymous said...

hooray for Tacoma teachers. They fought for all of us - here, Wisconsin, all over this crazy inequitable country.

soynonymous

Southy said...

Tacoma teachers struck and ended up with less than what they would have gotten from the district two days before they went to the Governor's Office.

Of course the school district didn't go out and tell the world that they got what they wanted otherwise the teachers wouldn't have ratified it.

Union wanted 2 year contract, TPS wanted a 3 year contract. Contract is 3 years.

Unoin wanted a pay raise, TPS wanted teachers to absorb some of the state salary cut. Contract is teacher keep current salary schedule BUT loose a paid day (without students loosing class time) to make up for the state salary cuts.

Union wanted smaller class sizes, TPS intially wanted bigger. Contract is stays the same.

Union wanted senority only displacement system and that all provisional teachers (1-3 years) be automatically let go before any 3+ year teacher was displaced regardless of endorsement area or building need. District wanted non-senority only system and to not eat the young. Contract is that a non-senority system will be created and used without further ratification by union, and that 1-3 year teachers won't be axed first.

Union had to give up a grievance and a whole bunch of other things in exchange for the district dropping the lawsuit over the strike.

Lots of other details, but on the whole a big win for the District.

Braessae said...

I am clearly not "in the know" in any way -- but it seemed to me that the "big enchalada" here was the layoff stuff -- and I think that both parties' positions were too aggressive (the usual case in union/management negotiation posturing). In my opinion, we won't really know "who won" here until they work out the new system. This to me is a really sticky issue for many districts, and not one easily solved. It has never seemed to me to be in the best interests of kids to use "seniority" exclusively -- the companies I work for certainly don't -- they look at client needs, staff strengths and abilities, etc. etc. On the other hand, there must be something in the air in schools, because poisonously bad management, retribution, bullying by principals, etc. is too often a problem, in too many schools. And it can lead to really good teachers getting drummed out for standing up for their students and good teaching.

This is ultimately an "upper management" problem -- the Superintendent and the Executive Directors either don't know how to run, or don't care about, site management at the school level. Consequently, principals can get away with acting like little despots (or, worse yet, like the heads of their very own little 'mean girl' or 'mean boy' cliques). It is hard to fix things in the schools, however, when the same cronyism, backbiting, recrimination, etc. goes on at the District level too, which certainly seemed to be the case under MGJ. I am less clear on the extent to which it continues under Dr. E.

I wish Tacoma schools well in this -- and hope they come up with something useful that other Districts can use.

dan dempsey said...

"On the other hand, there must be something in the air in schools, because poisonously bad management, retribution, bullying by principals, etc. is too often a problem, in too many schools."

YUP.

dan dempsey said...

Looking Back on the Tacoma strike....

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