In the wee hours of the morning, version 5 of the DPS negotiation team, reached a tentative agreement with the DEA. This afternoon, the DEA union may still vote it down and go on strike, but that’s unlikely.
The reason that’s unlikely- is because after 8 months of negotiation- and an illegal public ambush on Tuesday afternoon where the district illegally discussed negotiations and threatened to withhold the teachers checks (which would have cost the district treble damages, because it’s illegal to withhold earned pay), the teachers basically got everything they were asking for- except the contract is only for 2 years, instead of 3.
DPS Treasurer Hiwot Abraha wouldn’t certify the 3 year contract because “we don’t have the money.” Hmmm, we had the money for 3 years to sign Superintendent Rhonda Corr’s lush contract for 3 years- and we did the 7 year bus buy, no problem.
Now, the craziness begins again. The bus/bell schedule is going to be a disaster. My whole office watched a DPS driver in a brand new bus trying to make a turn from Bonner onto Adams- a narrow one way street with cars parked on both sides. It was entertaining to all of us- but not so much to the person who was honking at them to move….
Many of the fundamental problems of poor leadership and no-attention span planning will still exist. Teachers are being shuffled like a six card deck in Vegas according to my facebook feed. The moving of teachers from school to school is just one more way we make sure DPS won’t make real progress on academic scores.
Hopefully, with the raises and recognition of steps, we’ll stop seeing our best teachers leaving by the boatload for greener pastures. What won’t be able to be undone- is the huge loss suffered from this protracted drama. There are now 8 certified PK teachers with masters degrees and additional certs- all working in Springfield. Sure, the drive will suck, but, they said I make $8K a year more AND it’s a positive working environment.
That last part, the positive working environment, won’t come to DPS until a new board is seated and some sort of rational thinking guides this district again.
At the board meeting on Tuesday- Dr. Walker pulled me aside and had a friendly discussion with me. He was concerned I’d called him a “dumbass” on my blog. Sheila Taylor mentioned it as well. It’s amazing, considering the district is on the verge of collapsing- and they were concerned with words- that according to the search function- don’t even exist as pertaining to them on this blog. Just another indication of the misdirected focus.
There are solutions to many of DPS’s problems, including rebuilding trust between the administration and the staff, but, after the last year of turmoil, it’s hard to see it coming anytime soon.
As one last contract point- since the teachers are only going to get a two year contract, the DEA should ask that Rhonda reduce hers by one year as well.
This afternoon will be telling, especially when the terms are shared publicly. The teachers really do want to be in the classrooms next week. The idea of allowing the people that Huffmaster was going to supply as scabs made all of them queasy. Delaying the opening of school a week wouldn’t be a bad idea either at this point, but, most likely, it won’t happen.
Had the district resolved this before the June 10th resignation deadline, we’d be in much better shape. This can’t ever be allowed to happen again.