Monday, August 23, 2010

It's the Most Wonderful Time of the Year

All good things must come to an end, and summer is no exception. As much as I enjoy the kids being home and all of us having a few less things on the ‘to do’ list (not to mention nagging about homework, which we can all do without) I do appreciate when it’s time for them to go back, if for no other reason than I get to reclaim my house from all the teenagers running in and out, and it stays clean longer. 

Methacton’s doors reopen on September 7 – but for how long? The number one question I’ve been hearing in recent weeks is not IF we’re going to have to deal with a strike, but when, and for how long? Already many of the kids are eagerly looking forward to a little extended time off.

An update posted at the end of July on the school district website explains where the school district believes the process is at the moment and the timeline of events in play going forward. If both parties go through the steps in the maximum time allotted for each, MEA, if no progress is made and they so choose, could potentially go on strike approximately September 22, but I think it’s safe to say anything after mid-September is a real possibility.

If they do, collective bargaining law (Act 1992-88) dictates that a first strike must end if 180 days of school cannot be completed by June 15, or the last day of school as designated on the instructional calendar, whichever is later. Following the first teacher strike, the Board and MEA would be required to submit to mandatory nonbinding arbitration. Following the mandatory non-binding arbitration process, which could take place over as little as 65 calendar days but usually lasts much longer (and during which the public gets ten days to comment on the ‘final best’ contract offers) a second strike could occur. The second strike must end when 180 days of school cannot be completed by June 30.

Attempts to contact Methacton Education Association president Diana Kernop for a status update or comment on their position were not returned.

The next Methacton School Board meeting is scheduled for tomorrow night, August 24 at 8 pm in the Arcola auditorium. As I’m sure the subject will come up, you might want to attend to get the most recent information or to ask questions.


Eddie S said...

should be an interesting start to the school year....

David said...

Hang tough and don't give in... don't cave like N Penn school board did.

Anonymous said...

Saw in the paper that you tried to ge t them to wait a month before approving the super's contract. don't they see how this looks to the teachers who have not had a contract for 2 years? they have plenty of $ for administration but not teachers?

Anonymous said...

Now I'm confused, are you running for township supervisor or school board member next year? I guess you could run for both, and get set to run for State Rep the next year, or are you after Rafferty's seat?

Janice Kearney said...

Is it a full moon again, already? By golly, it is!

Nice to know I can keep you guessing.

Speaking out in a public meeting is, for me, about advocating on behalf of the voters in my district, and not campaigning for something else. Not after anyone's seats, thank you very much, and I do not believe our esteemed state rep/senator are vacating their seats anytime soon.

Anonymous said...

I am a teacher in the Methacton School District.

I would have accepted the Fact-Finders-Report (FFR) if "OUR" Board of School "Directors" had made any effort to share the pain of "this uncertain economic climate" equally with "OUR" administrators.

The pain of this economy existed in April when the 4-year MAO was approved. It existed in July and August, when other 4-year contracts were approved.

In four years, my compensation will increase by $1135 dollars. Over four years, that averages to be .38% per year. Not 4% per year. Or 2%. or 1% per year. No. Not even .5% per year.

I spent my $1135 increase, threefold, out of my own pocket, to supplement my training, and add supplies and materials to my classroom.

The TWENTY-FIVE years of experience in MY POSITION is equal in value to any administrator in the district.

I understand the salary separation between "staff" and "management," but can everyone acknowledge that the biggest difference between a teacher and an administrator is that teachers have chosen to remain in the classroom, and work DIRECTLY with students every single day.

why is it that the highly trained and valuable administrative staff can't be responsible for EVERY SINGLE In-service presentation, for even one year?

How many ADMINISTRATORS deliver In-service training courses, for the benefit of the team?

Instead, the district pays $4000 for an opening day speaker (granted a very creative one) to come and KEEP ME OUT OF MY CLASSROOM PREPARATIONS, in a year when budgets are frozen?????

That speaker honorarium adds up to only $10 per teacher, but that is LUNCH money in these “uncertain economic times.”

Same speaker kept custodial staff from cleaning classrooms and catching mice; maintenance staff from finishing renovations involving instructional spaces FOR STUDENTS. Secretaries from necessary paperwork. Etc.

If this “Board of School directors” wants faculty to accept their proposed economic sanctions, they should save MORE money, and demand more from their administrators: CUT ALL out-sourced IN-SERVICE budget. GET TO WORK!