Presented to Everett School District School Board Members at their September 11, 2018, meeting.
My observations, as a citizen, of the recent teacher contract negotiations.
Teachers are still backslapping each other.
There was a letter published and signed by the teachers’ union’s negotiating team. Quite proud of themselves.
But where is the summary letter published and signed by the administration’s negotiating team? I requested a copy.
From news reports and from my discussions with one of your administrators, a 3% increase was first offered even though that would have been above what can be sustained.
The teachers union basically laughed in your face and said, “Ha! We’ll take 20%.”
The admin team cowered without any kind of push back. At least several other school districts put up a fight. They sought court orders to block the illegal strikes that were and are still underway.
Everett did nothing. The local teachers union appears to run the district. Teachers here were already the highest paid in the state. And our district level administrators ALSO just happen to have one of the highest compensations in the state. It doesn’t look like a simple coincidence from an outside perspective.
And also from news reports, I understand you are already planning for how to carry out layoffs, possibly next year, if you don’t obtain a bailout for your just agreed to bargaining.
And just whom are you going to layoff?
Last in, first out? So new teachers?
Your teaching staff does not demographically reflect the community well at all and certainly not the students. Your current teaching staff is 90% white, 80% female. But your newest teachers have at least a little more of a diverse background than your so-called veteran teachers. So all the effort your HR department has done in encouraging a more diverse teaching staff will be undone as a consequence of your lack of effort and the failure of your negotiating team.
How about teaching assistants?
Are you going to lay them off?
They had nothing to do with this blunder that your team negotiated. And do you realize that in other districts such as Seattle, teaching assistants are part of the teachers union? In fact Seattle agreed to a flat 10% across the board increase. Unlike Everett where you unequally, unjustifiably rewarded already overpaid veteran teachers instead of focusing on new teachers.
In my view, friendships aside, the only personnel that should be laid off (or their compensations severely cut) are the district administrators sitting to the left and right of me and in front of me.