Negotiate? What is that?
When asked why things went so smoothly when we negotiated the MOU, my response is that we actually negotiated.
Since that time there has been no negotiation. An important part of that success was the outside attorney who helped NEGOTIATE that document, where with mutual respect we worked together to find common ground. The district, under the leadership of their house counsel, is simply trying their case in the court of public opinion.
Here are just a couple of examples of this:
When we asked for 3% for 3 year and full benefits (which the superintendent received) the district did not return to the table and say we can’t do that but we can offer 1% for 2 years, which would have opened NEGOTIATIONS to find common ground. Instead, the district priced out the highest possible outcome and posted it on their website.
This year we asked that extra duties and meetings be limited to 5 hours per month. The reality is that most teachers work many hours after school and on their own time. The district did not return to the table and counter that they needed more hours, like 12 hours per month, which would have opened NEGOTIATIONS to find common ground. Instead they again priced out the highest possible cost they could imagine and posted it on their website.
Our members voted against forced collaboration, and voted against giving up their right to bargain the calendar. The district did not come to the table and offer any alternative or compromise; they simply inserted these very same items into their proposal. Their proposal was not a counter offer. So again, no NEGOTIATIONS.
I would like to feel justified in saying the district bargains in bad faith, but the truth is, they don’t bargain at all.