Friday, December 14, 2007

Tiverton Teachers Still Without Contract

Tiverton teachers may picket the workplace of Schoolchair & nurse Medeiros this Mon. The Tiverton School Committee went to Court to try & prevent this but no-go. Thursday the school committee lawyer was quite sure that NEA Tiverton teachers could be stopped: “This is unprecedented,” Bejma said of a union deciding to picket the workplace of an elected committee member. She said Judge Vincent A. Ragosta “was not pleased” and used the word “extortion” to describe the antics.

Evidently the Judge changed his mind or this is more rhetoric designed to escalate the situation. The "Daily News" also ran an editorial decrying "rude tactics" by the NEA. Rude? The school chair said the Union was trying to embarass her. Embarass? We're not playing a gentlemanly game of tennis here - John McEnroe settled that awhile ago. This is serious business & you play to win using any tactics in your arsenal.

If the School Committee wasn't aware of the consequences of no contract & a job action against them, then they shouldn't be in office. We're talking about peoples' livelihoods here, not a "gentlemanly" game. Efforts to demean their Union's NEA rep are just plain stupid. He's doing what he's paid to do - take the heat & do everything possible to settle a contract in his people's best interests. We're talking about the largest Union in the U.S. You're going to crush them? Let's talk real here. Try TALKING to them with a determination to get a contract. Don't tell me it's impossible. I've sat on both sides of the table. It can be done with respect, determination, & knowledge. The former seems to have gone out the window, along with all the rest.

The local Tiverton NEA is deciding this weekend what further tactics they will take. There is also a hearing this Wed. by the School Board regarding the 2 suspended teachers. During the day. So no one can attend. Forget making it public. Subs will also have to be hired. Forget being cost-conscious. Plenty of lawyer money though, oddly enough.

The non-speak about waiting for the arbitrator's decision in Jan. is meaningless. Contractual items involving $ are non-binding. I don't believe any school committee in the state has ever abided by an arbitrators' decision. Just buying time & stalling tactics are on the agenda.

Blame it on School Committees who don't want any Lege control/infingement of their ?powers. Blame it on Councils who could weigh in with their funding power but choose to keep above the fray. But mostly blame it on the State Lege. who have ignored this problem for years & in fact, created it. Look at your current legislators & ask them their solutions. Yeah, state contracts, one super district, funding formula, Union bashing, blah, blah, blah. What about now & immediate rather than "let's dream."
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