That’s the headline in this morning’s Courier Times, and to me it’s good news. Clearly from reading comments in this blog, not everyone agrees.
I could try to address each individual point of what some people have been critical of, but that’s already been done in other posts and it hasn’t changed the minds of those who object – nor should it. You have reason to be concerned. Yes, we could have rammed a tougher agreement down the Administrators’ throats. Yes, an equity clause could cost us if (but that’s a huge IF) our eventual agreement with the teachers is more generous than what the Administrators agreed to. And yes, we could have posted the agreement in a full page Ad in the Courier. YES to all those points.
From the very beginning of our negotiations, this Board has sought to undo some sins of the past while charting a course for future success. The teachers contract is expensive, very possibly the most expensive in the entire state. We wanted to make sincere changes to that agreement while we continue to value the work of our teachers. That’s what we had hoped to accomplish in our offer to the teachers, and we wanted to extend that same ideal to our Administrators as well. While you can disagree with what we offered to the Administrators, you really cannot deny how much was recovered in this agreement: Free health care benefits – GONE; Free retirement benefits to age 65 – GONE; The $27,500 lump sum retirement payout – GONE; Long-term service bonuses – GONE. These are all the things the public wishes were handled years ago, and this Board stepped up to the plate and addressed them now.
I’m not a betting man but if you asked 100 different people about how we handled the Administrators’ contract, I’d wager that you couldn’t find 2 people who will completely agree with each other. That’s why it’s easy to second guess what we have done – there isn’t just one way to have skinned this cat.
So that we’re clear with each other, I don’t begrudge you for taking issue with some or all of the particulars surrounding this contract. Your emails and blog comments haven’t fallen on deaf ears. In certain instances I actually agree with you. But overall, I am fiercely supportive of what this Board accomplished with the Administrators contract. Now I’ll leave it to you to share comments with each other, but a couple of rules for the road . . .
1. Be respectful - I’m cool with it if you want to tell me you disagree or whatever, but if you want to get nasty or insulting, please take it over to the Courier blog.
2. Be nice to each other - Some of you have gotten a little sarcastic in your responses to comments made by other readers. Please have enough respect for one another to allow for differing opinions without the need to get in little digs.
It’s taken me over 8 hours to write this post in between meetings and my own little budget crisis at work, and I must get back to the job that actually pays me to be yelled at. I’m going to bow out from further comments for the time being so I can focus on work stuff. So if I don’t counter your counter arguments, or answer that one question you want me to drop everything to answer, please be a little understanding, ok? And none of that conspiracy theory crap that I’m hiding from you. If I wanted to hide I would not have bothered with this post.