Tuesday, November 20, 2007

Shaler strike averted...

After more than five weeks of a teachers strike in Seneca Valley School District -- I'm sure you Tattlers are glad to see that a strike in Shaler Area School District has been averted.

Union leaders and district officials cut a deal earlier this week.

From the Post-Gazette:

The Shaler Area school board and the district's teachers reached a tentative agreement yesterday during a contract negotiating session.

The teachers had given strike notice for next Tuesday if a contract was not reached before that date.

While this agreement will not get the go-ahead until union members vote, the parents of more than 5,000 students should not worry -- the tentative agreement will most-likely be approved.

It seems as if so many teachers strikes are at the front burner in the north suburbs.

Just a while back, North Hills School District almost underwent the same problem but came to an agreement at the "11th hour." Hampton parents now must keep eye on this issue since their teachers may also strike in the near future.

Working to keep you posted...

11 comments:

Paul said...

"I'm sure you Tattlers are glad to see that a strike in Shaler Area School District has been averted."

This one's daughter was hoping for a short stoppage and resulting vacation...

Oh well at least she won't be attendng class in the summer.

Anonymous said...

Don't count your chickens before they've hatched... Obviously none of you have ACTUALLY read what has been posted on the Shaler site... NO ONE has agreed upon anything, the negotiating teams came up with a tentative agreement, the teachers must still vote on it and it must be approved by the school board.

SirFuller said...

After reading information on Shaler's Website, this Tattler still believes teachers won't strike.

While several votes still need to be cast to approve the tentative agreement, I think the tone of the superintendent's letter was overly cautious.

Paul said...

The only time I've ever heard of a union's membership voting against a tentative deal was after prolonged and contentious strikes had already occured.

If those negotiating on behalf of the teachers have come up with a deal they think is fair it'll almost certainly get approved. Voting against it under these circumstances would weigh heavily against the union in any arbitration or mediated settlement that was ordered down the road.

Anonymous said...

No where is it said that "those negotiating on behalf of the teachers" think the school board's offer is fair. It is equally plausible that an impasse was reached and as a result, those negotiating decided to let the association as a whole decide.

If an impasse has occured, the only way to reach the next stages of negotiating is to strike. If the proposed contract is not fair for both sides, a strike allows for 3rd party members to enter the fray and arbitrate.

If that doesn't result in a finalization, a second strike opens up even more avenues to procede.

It is just the way the law is written. Nothing's been settled in Shaler, it's just another stepping stone in the process.

Paul said...

"those negotiating on behalf of the teachers" think the school board's offer is fair"

That's just about the dumbest thing I've ever read. By coming to an agreement it pretty much implies that they thought it was as fair a deal as they're likely to get.

Anonymous said...

Shaler's teachers are split about whether to accept the contract offer.

A strike is still a very real possibility.

Shaler Parent said...

I know many Shaler teachers. From what I have heard, there is a nearly 50-50 split among them as to whether this contract will pass, and few of those I have spoken to think a strike will be productive. Many think that the teachers are giving the district too much, that the health care costs are too high and the compensation is too low. While others agree that it is not a great contract, it is the best they are likely to get....time will tell.
I for one have to say that I want my children's teachers to be well paid. They have a tough and very important job.

Paul said...

"I for one have to say that I want my children's teachers to be well paid. They have a tough and very important job."

Teachers aren't entitled to be paid any different that anyone else and quality of work should matter. Shaler's still a pretty good district but it's not great anymore and student performance has been slipping lately. Many, many parents are aware and concerned about it.

Shaler isn't the city of Pittsburgh, we had the good sense to send Shawn Flaherty packing from the state house and replaced him with a solid conservative, went for Hart over that pathetic Soros lapdog Altmire and Favored Santorum over Casey, Swann over Rendell...

There's no union boot licking in Shaler.

If teachers decide to make a prolonged fight over what many people in the district already perceive to be good pay for less than stellar results, the teachers may find that reaction from parents is not what they expected.

Shaler teachers need to be doing a whole lot better than they currently are before if they expect to be able to make demands without question.

Shaler Parent said...

"Shaler teachers need to be doing a whole lot better than they currently are before if they expect to be able to make demands without question"

Teachers can't be the scape goats of our declining culture. Teachers can to the greatest job in the world, but if students go home to a less than supportive environment at home...the positive impact of our schools is limited. How do you expect to attract good people to the teaching profession and to our schools in particular if you aren't willing to pay for it? Do you think good Shaler teachers will leave for Fox Chapel, NA et al. if you and people like you bad mauth them and tell them they are not worth their pay?

Our culture is filled with filth and hero worship. Parents allow a minimalist attitude, and then parents blame teachers and the schools.

Do you also blame your cardiologist for your heart condition or your dentist for your cavities?

Shaler Parent said...

I have 4 children in the district. One is currently in the MS one in SAI and one at the HS and the other is in college. Most of Shaler's teachers are excellent and committed. We have already seen good teachers leave for greener pastures. We lost Mrs. Mangan, Mr. Harsch, Mrs. Febraro all to North Allegheny and most recently we are losing Mr. Sean Aiken (one of the Middle School principals). We will get what we are willing to pay for. I do not encourage my children to persue a career as an educator. While it is noble, one will not be appreciated and they can make far more money elsewhere.

You hit the nail on the head when you said "student performance is slippng lately". If a teacher teaches Johnny and he then goes home and doesn't do his homeork or studying, but watches TV or plays a video game instead, who is to blame? I agree that the quality of the teaching is fundamental to learning, but so is Johnny, his parents and their committment.

My children are very successful and their effort is reflected in the standardized test scores. That tells me that my kids, and their teachers are doing their jobs and doing them well. Are those same teachers doing something different with those students that you are refering too? I suspect that the difference lies with the students and parents and not with the teachers. You will find underachieving students and less than committed families everywhere. It is easy to blame teachers, but harder to be honest and look in the mirror.

I'll be interested to see the details of the proposed contract to see if the teachers have really been making "demands without question."