Archive for April, 2010

First Meeting

Monday, April 5th, 2010

As most of you probably heard, the meeting scheduled

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for February 19th was postponed. We had our first meeting on Wednesday, March 31st. Present at the meeting were representatives of all four units and our negotiator, Chris Berzinski. The administration was represented by Brittany Goldstein and there negotiator, attorney Alan Schmoll. The first meeting in negotiations is organizational in nature. You set the meeting schedule and discuss ground rules, e.g., when proposals are exchanged, the last point at which items can be added, etc. I am disappointed to report that we won’t meet again until May 4th. However, all four units will be meeting multiple times with Administration over the three weeks that follow. On another note, I assume you have all heard about the new legislation that requires us to pay 1.5% of our salaries toward our health benefits. Needless to say, negotiations are entertaining enough without added external pressure. It is rare that I listen to the talking heads in the media discussing the job we do and hear something that resonates with me. During the discussions about the legislation, it was brought up that teachers took less-than-desirable raises in the past to keep their health benefits. That is absolutely true and something I’d been told since I became involved in the union. Now, they are trying to cut into those benefits too. Anyway, suffice it to say that we will need your support in the upcoming months. John Stratton, Umbrella Group President