Wednesday, July 15, 2009

Dr. Homeslice on Contract Negotiations

I love this post. Good for both sides of the table to read and understand, actually.

At a conference last month I was talking with representatives from ERNN, which supports management during labor negotiations. They were talking about a trend towards shorter contracts (2 years, or sometimes even 1), which is a theory that I've heard espoused in the past from my team--e.g., the more you negotiate, the better the deal you'll eventually get. I think the current economic climate lays waste to that argument--I put better than 1000 hours into last year's negotiation for my teachers and only made minimal gains in a down economy, so I can't imagine what it's like for districts with open contracts this year.

We're on a 3-year cycle, so this past year was year 1, next year will be year 2, and the year following (2010-2011) we'll get ready to reopen and start bargaining again. Not that the process ever really ends; we've got some things to discuss in August that we'll hopefully apend on to the agreement with a Letter of Understanding.

For those of you still at the table here in mid-July, I salute you!

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