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Quolke’s Corner


WC Fields once said…”If you can’t dazzle them with brilliance, baffle them with bullshit.” No quote better matches the district’s public response to the Fact Finder’s Report. As most everyone is aware, on Tuesday, May 10th, the CMSD rejected the Fact Finders report. It is no surprise that both the district and the CTU are recommending that the report be rejected. What is surprising – amazing, really – is the district didn’t simply reject the report and issue a press release. Rather, they were compelled to launch an extensive critique of the Fact Finder report and annotate margins to defend themselves. Why? Because the Fact Finder pointed out how dysfunctional the district is in many aspects of their operations. The fascinating fact is that this was the same Fact Finder we used 3 years ago to help us reach a fair contract. She was well aware of the promises the district made.   Their overreaction makes it pretty clear the district is in damage-control mode.

If you haven’t done so already, read the Fact Finders report. She did a great job of painting the picture of what our members have lived through the last three years. And yes, she is critical of the district…as she should be. However, I’m not going to go into the weeds on this. Nor am I going to pay our lawyers or waste CTU staff time whining and annotating margins like the district in an attempt to discredit the Fact Finder.  Clearly, the Fact Finder was very critical of how DYSFUNCTIONAL the district is and they took offense. However, a couple items need to be made clear. Just like in 2013, the Fact Finder attempted to mediate a contract rather than hold formal hearings. The district knows that, and their high-priced attorneys from Squires, Patton and Boggs know that, too. The proposals that were given to the Fact Finder prior to the hearing were modified by both CTU and CMSD through the course of the week. The district knows that and their high priced attorneys from Squires, Patton and Boggs know that, too.

On Thursday, the second to last day of fact finding, the Fact Finder asked both sides to prepare our last best offer to give to her. So on Thursday, we did modify our economic proposal. The district knows that and their high priced attorneys from Squires, Patton and Boggs know that, too. When we modified our economic proposal (at the urging of the Fact Finder) they got upset and stormed out on Thursday night, just like in February when they walked away from the table. In fact, when we arrived Friday morning, not a single district person was at Fact Finding. It was THE LAST DAY, AND CMSD WAS A NO SHOW. They began to arrive between 9-10 a.m. for an 8 a.m. start, BUT never met with us. They spent the entire afternoon Friday meeting separately with the Fact Finder, and when they concluded talking to her, they simply walked out. We then gave the Fact Finder our final offer for her consideration.

Let me make this clear: throughout the entire negotiations timeline, including Fact Finding, CTU was always working to negotiate a contract that is fair for educators and good for kids. The Fact Finder asked CTU to give her our last best proposal. We did.

I have no idea what the district talked to the Fact Finder about. However, after reading her report, they didn’t appear to dazzle her with their brilliance!