22 April 2006

Union Games

Most of us who work in Curriculum went over after work a few days ago for a meeting with The Union. You might remember that we'd heard that they were being very "aggressive" about taking away our jobs now that the contract is up for renegotiation. This is not the first time that they have seemingly forgotten that we are part of their membership (whether or not we want to be).

The good news is that the parts of the contract which are included for this year's bargaining do not include Curriculum.

The bad news? I hardly know where to begin. The meeting was 45 minutes late getting started because The President was out at a car dealership conducting personal business. Or is it more unprofessional to use a second-grade sing-song voice when imitating the words of the District? The President kept talking about how teachers need more time to plan their implementataion of new standards and strategies in the classroom. Hey, I agree. But The Prez not once talked about exploring ways to build more time in the day---only about how to get a few more dollars into teachers' pockets. The Union is apparently holding grudges against the district for decisions they made two and three administrations ago. Should I point out their jabs at changes in the science program? It's true that at two schools, as science course demands increase for students that they will decrease in electives. But the district is going to have to cut ten secondary positions by next fall. Science only can take the blame for 1.5 of those.

By the end of the meeting, they were trying (and failing) to whip us into some sort of frenzy about how we should be the ones deciding what our jobs were about. You know, none of us are in Curriculum to serve ourselves. We're there for other teachers so that they can make a positive difference for kids. Too bad The Union doesn't have the same ideals for their job descriptions.


Christine said...

It's too bad that the union seems to want to pit teachers against each other. That's one of the many reasons I'm glad we don't have these type of contract problems in Virginia. I belong to the union, which in this state, is actually called an association, and I belong by choice, but I'm not sure how much longer that will be true. I'm tired of getting hysterical emails from the school rep about the budget, and how the state wants us to do our jobs (oh no! not that!).

I'm tired of everyone protecting their collective behinds rather than doing what's best for kids.

The Science Goddess said...

Our local "association" has gotten in trouble a few times already with the higher ups about their propensity to pit member against member.

Their job is simply to watch the contract and make sure the terms are followed. We'd be in so much better shape if they would stick to that.

They pulled some other tricks this week that are just plain embarrassing. I can only hope the voting members get fed up and put some responsible people in charge.