If our past experience negotiating against a “formidable adversary” as our leadership calls Bloomberg and Klein produced a wholesale erosion of our basic rights as union members the interpretation stage of this new document will lead us further away from our professionalism and our right to be a positive force in the schools.
One of the most basic concepts in any negotiation is setting the parameters or playing field. Once you’ve set the boundaries for negotiation you’ve taken the upper hand. When the infamous “eight page contract” was announced early in our negotiations our leadership fought back proclaiming that our contract evolved from many years of negotiation and we were not scraping it.
Yet our leadership went ahead to fact-finding where the fact-finders set the parameters. We plunged forward and “used the fact-finding as a vehicle” despite the anti-union provisions called for.
Then came the contract with all of its provisions insuring that principals have complete discretion in most of the important issues in the school and eviscerating the grievance procedure not to miss potty patrol.
So the leadership’s public relations spin machine decides to find a myriad of ineffective ways to work around all of our givebacks.
Our leadership was out-foxed again. The DOE issued an implementation memo and set the parameters of negotiation yet again. Where is OUR implementation memo? Isn’t the contract half ours?
Our leadership, despite the years of experience in negotiation, approached and continues to accept the DOE’s lead. The DOE does and our leadership reacts.
When are we going to learn?