“Because I Said So!”
As toddlers all of us encountered one of our parents at some point and time emphatically delivering this message when we questioned something we couldn’t understand. The underlying assumption made by our parents was that they knew better and did not feel compelled to answer to our confusion. Our school board needs to realize that the district leadership’s “funny math” is, sadly, not “funny” at all. While our bargaining team has repeatedly asked for an explanation from the district as to where the money is going, we are once again being treated like the curious child seeking an explanation, where the response is an absolute acceptance of “funny math” as factual. No annual COLA (Cost Of Living Adjustment) means that the $1.00 loaf of bread you purchased last year, now costs you nearly $1.04 this year. While the district gladly accepts the COLA to enlarge their budget, they have been reluctant to offer any of the increase to its employees. Enough is enough! When the district budget grows by a projected 10% for this year and the next two, that means they will have collected another 22 million dollars. Their three year offer does not even equal this year’s COLA, much less the next two years. At some point we have to be courageous enough to stop blaming the Superintendent and re-target our energies toward the elected school board members. As the supervisors for the school district, this round of contract negotiations sees the school board once again buying the faulty logic and mathematical computation asserted by the district leadership. How about taking a closer look at the second interim financial report and picking up a pencil and paper and doing the math yourselves. Perhaps then you will gain a deeper insight toward the mounting frustration of the employees within our district. Whenever our district proposes anything less than COLA, they always lessen not merely the value of each dollar we receive, but it makes us question our value to the district as a whole. “Teachers united, will never be divided!” Stay together and stay strong!
Yours in unity, Shawn