Quolke's Corner 9/25/12

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QUOLKE’S CORNER #132

CONTRACT VOTE

“We are all born ignorant, but one must work hard to remain stupid” Benjamin Franklin.

The votes have been counted and once again, CTU members have overwhelmingly rejected the latest contract proposal presented by the CMSD. Overall, 98.13% of our members rejected this proposal - 3202 members voted NO while 59 voted YES.

While the logic and strategy of the district’s negotiating team remains a mystery to me, what is clear throughout all this mess is that the powers that be in CMSD did not understand the message CTU members sent when our membership soundly rejected the Fact Finders Report in June. So while 84% of our members rejected that Fact Finders report, the district felt our membership would now feel much more inclined to accept a similar package come September.  The actual proposal that was voted on over the last week was worse than what the Fact Finder recommended. In fact, the proposal asked for over $15,000,000 in concessions, which is 13% more than what the Fact Finder recommended in June.

What now? First and foremost, nothing in our contract has changed from what was voted on last winter. All current contract language is still in effect until the contract expires June 30, 2013. In the 2010 agreement the language was guaranteed through 2013, however, there were wage and benefit re-openers for 2011 and 2012. That was necessary because it is Ohio law that the Treasurer and Board Chair must sign that there is enough funding to sustain the wages and benefits that are in the agreement. Since that could not be certified in 2010 – wage and benefit reopeners were necessary. Last year when we agreed on the wage and benefit concessions, we also agreed that benefits would remain the same through 2013. So, that means that the only
item that can be negotiated now is wages and those things that directly impact wages (like compensation for class size overages).

Now that this vote is over, we will go back to negotiations with the District. Both sides have bargained through the summer and fall and will continue to work to a fair contract resolution.

In Union,