CFT takes steps to prepare for a teacher strike. Again.

Reminiscient of last year, the CFT is again putting into motion the threat of a strike. No, they are not officially striking. And no, the Union has not yet taken a vote to authorize a strike (a meeting is scheduled for 4:30 today). But according to the NG, that is the route they are headed down.

The CFT also (finally) has a facebook page: https://www.facebook.com/CFTlocal1925

Like last year, I still fail to see what role the public is supposed to play in this as it stands. It is our tax dollars, but yet it is the districts responsibility to spend those dollars wisely, and the Board to oversee the district (ie, to govern).  If asked if I support the teachers or the administration, in all honesty I would have to say “that is a poorly framed question”, but I lean towards supporting the teachers because I have a better idea of what they do; they teach my child, and I have a very subjective opinion about how that happens. 🙂

From where I sit, it sucks that the teachers do not have a contract (as of summer). And yet they still teach. That says something. Why don’t they have a contract? Why is negotiation so hard? I cannot help but wonder, what would happen if the CFT dealt directly with the voting public to hash out a contract? What if the administration were simply side-stepped? I know “HORRIBLE IDEA!!!” you say. But what if…..  And tell me, why is it such a horrible idea? I know the Board, elected of the people, is supposed to act on behalf of the people, but…. I mean, really, us “common folk” have absolutely no idea what is going on behind the closed doors. And I am told that this makes good business sense, but I do not fully understand why.

Teach me.

 

Public sector news media links:

NG: http://www.news-gazette.com/news/local/2013-09-18/updated-champaign-teachers-approve-strike-authorization-vote.html

WCIA: http://www.illinoishomepage.net/story/unit-4-contract-negotiations/d/story/ilOjjHkM3k2mdfvUOPFvHg

WAND: http://www.wandtv.com/story/23470969/champaign-teachers-vote-to-authorize-strike

WICD: http://www.wicd15.com/# (currently the featured story, this will change)

Advertisements

5 Responses to “CFT takes steps to prepare for a teacher strike. Again.”

  1. charlesdschultz Says:

    From 27 September, 2012:

    The school district issued a statement saying the school board was “surprised and disappointed” to hear of the vote while the district and union are still negotiating.

    Hmm….

  2. charlesdschultz Says:

    Meg updated her NG article; the CFT has officially given their negotiating team the “permission” to call a strike (a vote that passed by 97%).

    It is interesting to observe how both sides (the CFT and the administration/BOE) lob little mudpies over the fence. Last year, whenever I talked to Deb Foertsch (a former CFT president), she was very adamant that there were not sides, but rather differences. I can appreciate that perspective, but the picture painted by the comments that have been put forth to the public media certainly look more like “sides”.

    I do not mean to belittle this very serious issue, but it kind of comes across like a marital spat; both parties have expectations (some spoken, some not) and while some of those expectations may be met, the ones that are not seem to receive the most attention. The BOE says they have worked with the CFT to resolve 6 contentious issues – that seems like progress to me.

    What I really don’t get is why put this out in the media at all if they (both the BOE and the CFT) either are unwilling or legally unable to back it up with facts and figures? Is it some kind of leverage for public opinion? If they really want to sway my opinion, show me the numbers.

    I do admit that Unit 4 does post their overall general budget. That is a good first step. Problem is, I don’t really understand the nitty gritty details at all. I do not understand the ramifications of, say, taking money from a certain program and dumping it into the teachers fund. On the flip side, I do not know what exactly is the bottleneck that the CFT is hung up on.

    Again, the impression I get so far is that we mere citizens (ie, parents, tax payers, stakeholders) do not really have a role to play at all. All I see right now are emotional strategies to win some level of support. I don’t see evidence. I don’t know what an ideal situation would look like.

  3. charlesdschultz Says:

    A tiny bit of new news today – CFT filed forms that start the 28-days to strike timer:
    http://www.news-gazette.com/news/local/2013-09-19/updated-teachers-champaign-start-process-toward-strike.html

    The first (and only, so far) comment is apparently a teacher who says their high school student is being held “hostage” to hear from “disgruntled” teachers complain about this whole mess. Anyone else have similar stories?

    From what I have heard from the one or two teachers I have spoken with, teachers are spending more and more time “assessing”, learning new Common Core report cards, on the job training and tracking, taking away from their time to actually teach. And this is because (they say) Common Core is being rushed.

    If we assume that the high speed integration of Common Core is the root problem, how come we do not hear about the CFT pushing back on the BOE and the district administration to slow things down? I think I would prefer that. But it seems that the CFT and the BOE are not too concerned about what I prefer. 🙂

  4. Beth V. Says:

    Hey Charles,

    In accordance with the Illinois Educational Labor Relations Act (115 ILCS 5) the school board has put up details of their offer here:
    http://www.champaignschools.org/news-room/article/6297
    And the union has put up its counter-offer here:
    http://champaignparentresources.files.wordpress.com/2013/09/labor-board-submission.pdf


Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s

%d bloggers like this: