I think they’re trying to tell us something

Spotted at GES today:

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10 thoughts on “I think they’re trying to tell us something

  1. Happy 200th blog post to you!
    Happy 200th blog post to you!
    Happy 200th blog post, greatergrafton,
    Happy 200th blog post to you!!

    My husband and I saw one of those teacher signs at Stop and Shop, and he said hey, the key word is “working”! I, on the other hand, am scheduled to be laid off soon!

  2. I’m trying not to be a curmudgeon. The teachers need a contract. But… I didn’t get a raise this year and health insurance costs went up. I don’t think I’m the only one, either…

  3. GG, are you assuming that this issue is only about raises/health, or are you privy to more details about the contract negotiations? I’m just asking because … I have no idea and haven’t seen any details to date about this.

  4. I, too, have seen these signs around the school parking lots along with blue ribbons worn by the teachers on Open House night. One teacher at the high school, when asked about her blue ribbon, said it was for teacher solidarity since they are working without a contract and that things ‘look bad, really bad’. I love 98% of the teachers my children have had over the years. We have incredibly dedicated teachers who go above and beyond so often to help our children. Their responsibilities have increased. I don’t know what the contract issues are but I did think they were still in talks so I’m not sure why the demonstrations? My husband is also in the midst of being laid off and has not seen a raise in recent years and we’ve seen increased health care costs. There are increased school costs for parents as well. My hope is that if this is about money, it doesn’t turn out that the teachers get a larger raise, we have to lay off teachers to survive and class size increases and services decrease!

  5. I’d say about 98 percent of the municipal contract issues I’ve written about/edited over the last 20 years all boil down to:
    1) The pay raise percentage is unacceptable;
    2) The amount the town wants employees to contribute toward insurance is unacceptable.
    And, generally speaking, #2 is the case more often than not.

  6. Oh come on. Over 100 views today, several email forwards from school accounts and not a single comment from a teacher? I’d love to know what’s going on, who is the union rep?

  7. I’m not a teacher in town, but I’ll get their back. I also know no details on what is going on…but, as GG points out (98%) I have a pretty good hunch.

    1. For lowly compensated individuals, teachers perform above their current contract-defined roles in many many ways. Your kids want a little extra help…sure. Habitat for Humanity club needs an advisor…sure. Chaperone for the prom…sure. Right on down the line. Its pretty endless, and I know as a parent that I want teachers eager to continue this pattern.
    2. Compensation is already low. Given the fact that teachers are required to have a masters degree (or be pursing it) is a major financial/time burden for them already. (I’m not sure if this masters piece is true for non HS teachers…)
    3. I think most teacher contracts are 3 years…and if you freeze compensation for this contract…you are pretty much screwed until 2012ish.
    4. If you want that nice new high quality school to be filled with high quality teachers, you can’t nickel and dime them. Otherwise, they’ll leave.

  8. No one wants to shortchange teachers. One of the issues is that every other union is watching what happens with the teachers. If they get X percent raise, the police, the town hall employees, etc., are all going to want the same raise.

    Meanwhile, tax revenues are not growing by anywhere near the 3-4 percent a year the teachers are likely asking for. Where does the additional money come from in that situation? Unless you’re going to propose a 2 1/2 override, you’d have to cut somewhere else to make it happen.

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