LETTER TO THE EDITOR ABOUT SCHOOL SYSTEM NEGOTIATIONS

first_imgDear Mr. Editor,As our school year is about to begin, I am very concerned about the examplebeing set for our students by the behavior of the school superintendent in thenegotiations with the Teamsters Local 215 EVSC employees.I have been following this story for two summers. I thought after the employeesvoted overwhelmingly last summer to remain in the union his relationship withthese employees would move forward positively , but it appears things have onlygotten worse.Parents and teachers today are constantly reminding kids that every word theypost on social media pages will remain there for all to see including futureemployers. The same can be said for words printed in newspapers or uttered ontelevision.Words do matter and we should be held accountable for them.On August 24, 2014, after Teamsters Local 215 members voted overwhelmingly toremain in the Union , EVSC Superintendent Dr. David Smith was quoted in theCourier and Press as saying ,” I am always pleased when our employees have avoice and they certainly have spoken. As we have said before, we will definitelyhonor their wishes.”This was after he gave two units of Teamsters Local 215 EVSC employees 24 hoursnotice to vote again on union representation. He was consistently telling thepublic, media and board members that a “fairly large” percentage wanted out ofthe union. It was also stated that any “no shows” would be counted as votesagainst union representation. The vote proved him wrong. Bus Drivers voted120-27 and Secretaries 70-27 to remain in the Union. Imagine if our state andnational elections were managed like this.On April 17, 2015, EVSC board president Mike Duckworth was quoted in theCourier and Press as saying about the upcoming contract negotiations , “ Ithink as long as we have dialogue and keep communicating ,keep talking, we candisagree but we want to collaborate and see how we can make it better.”Obviously when there are serious issues to be discussed involving a large numberof people the most important thing to do is remain in communication with allentities for the sake of all voices being heard . Dr. Smith and the EVSC board‘sapproach was to not communicate with their constituents over this matter anddirected that all communication should be through the EVSC lawyer fromIndianapolis. This would be the same as teachers being told not to communicatewith parents and only do so through their lawyer?Thankfully the board voted on July 27 to go back to the bargaining table. Thatis the right decision. They need to stay at the bargaining table and work out afair contract for all concerned. Dr. Smith needs to honor the words he speaks.His “my way or the highway stance” is not productive and provides a poor exampleto the students we are all trying to teach.Doris WilliamsFacebookTwitterCopy LinkEmailSharelast_img read more

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