I’ve received a few emails about this — I’m told the teachers’ union will vote Monday on whether they will move to the “work to rule” stage in contract negotiations.
Working to rule means the teachers will do only what is spelled out specifically in their contracts. If after school help isn’t in the contract, a teacher will not offer it. If writing recommendation letters in not in the contract, the teacher will not do it. (I can’t speak specifically as to what is in the teachers’ contract, but in past towns I have covered, a teacher may write a recommendation letter if their principal has asked them to do so or, say, return a reporter’s phone call if their principal has asked them to speak to the press.)
I don’t know, at this stage, exactly what the holdup is in the contract negotiations, but I’ll try to check into it. Anyone, of course, can add their comments here.
Also, to reiterate to my friend who was panicked over the teachers “voting to strike on Monday,” here’s the general sequence with stalled contract negotiations:
- Contract impasse
- Some sort of passive union demonstration (signs, buttons, ribbons — at the Herald, it was a “Say No to Nothing!” pin)
- Work to rule
- Some sort of active union demonstration, generally at a public function or outside a board meeting
- Setting up a strike headquarters
And sorry for the absence today — I’m finding not working Saturdays to be the hardest adjustment. You’d think I’d be celebrating!