School board response to teachers' rejection: http://newshare.typepad.com/greylocknews/2005/10/update_oct_28_m.html
White says everyone is sharing burden of increased health-care costs:
Date: Sat, 29 Oct 2005 08:32:41 -0400 (EDT)
From: Bill Densmore
To: Bob Petricca (email@example.com), Chris Kapiloff (firstname.lastname@example.org), David Archibald (email@example.com), David Langston (firstname.lastname@example.org), Ron Tinkham email@example.com), Sally White (firstname.lastname@example.org), Tim O'Brien (email@example.com)
Cc: Rose-Marie Pelletier (firstname.lastname@example.org), "Travis, William" (email@example.com)
Subject: greylocknews: Can the public have a briefing on MGRHS contract status?
POSTED TO GREYLOCKNEWS.COM by Bill Densmore (POST RESPONSES/REPLIES BELOW BY CLICKING ON SMALL "Comments" link at bottom of item)
To the MGRSD committee: (cc: Rose-Marie Pelletier / Bill Travis)
At www.greylocknews.com, I've received a parent inquiry (below) about the status of contract negotiations with the teachers. Could the school board please now make public the offer which the teachers voted on (perhaps you've done so and I'm not aware of it)?
It would be helpful to the public to get a briefing on the school's finances vs. the offer and why the school board feel the offer was appropriate -- and what can possibly be done in the face of a near complete rejection by teachers. We realize you are all volunteers. What can the community do to help with this process? Might it be possible to hold some sort of WilliNet forum which could cover the issues without revealing negotiating positions or strategies?
In these situations "community buzz" could be helpful in reaching a resolution. Parents talk to teachers, teachers talk to parents, even students talk to teachers; the school board can talk with parents and taxpayers. But if we don't have substance to talk about, the conversation" doesn't happen -- or worse is
misinformed -- and the result, it would appear, is years of stalemate.
Parents, teachers, the school board . . . where's the common ground and how do we discover it in a process of community conversation? All of these constituences should be united in supporting funding for education. The only losers when they are not are the kids. Can we settle the contract and focus instead on changing policies in Boston and Washington?
Looking forward to some kind of response!
-- bill densmore
EXCERPT FROM: "Teachers ponder next steps" (NA Transcript, 10-28-05):
"[Teacher Shawn] Burdick said the 3.5 percent salary increase offer for this year and next averages out to a 2.33 percent raise over the three-year period, as no raise was offered for last year. The teachers have been working without a contract since September 2004. 'It's 2.33 percent a year when inflation is running at over 4 percent,' said Burdick. 'Another bit of context is 2.33 percent a year when they're asking for a 100 to 150 percent increase in health insurance, which can be several thousand dollars or a couple of percent right there.' Burdick said the committee found the money to give all of Mount Greylock's administrators what were typically 7 percent raises last year. Throughout their eight-period day, middle school teachers, Blackman said, have two preparation periods, one advisory period, one team meeting period and teach four class periods. The committee's latest offer reduces those teachers to just seven preparation periods per week, down from 10. This, said Burdick, would be a significant change in working conditions for the middle school teachers. There was no change proposed for the high school teachers' 10 preparation periods per week."