Wednesday, June 9, 2010

More family talk and Deja-vu (Impasse)

Family Talk
After the Board meeting last night (June 7th), two of the negotiators from the 2007 union team were talking. One recalled, that during those negotiations, the other had likened Dr. Howell to an evil step-mother invading our family and giving rules where they weren’t needed or appreciated, coming into the family without any past history, and making unnecessary changes without getting to know the family.

This was done in a face-to-face negotiations session. The words were uttered in the heat of the moment, but they didn’t seem to have an effect.

Why not?

Perhaps because to the Superintendent: we are more like a business than a family to her.

Does any of this sound familiar? Maybe some of us are just starting to see what’s been there all along. Maybe the public is just becoming aware of what’s been happening behind closed doors.

Trust is built, a little at a time. Trust is lost in large lumps.

Another speaker at the June 7th Board meeting noted that although many of the negotiators on the union side have been negotiating with the District for years, it’s only recently that impasse has become a typical (two-time) outcome. When was the last time the negotiations went to impasse before Dr. Howell’s tenure began? Way back in 1983. Wow.

Have financial times always good between then and now? I doubt it. The State’s economy fluctuates.

But the union and District leadership negotiated fairly, agreements were reached, and impasse was avoided.

Until… the family-style leadership began to be transformed into a business-styled leadership. A family certainly has a financial side, and families need to be fiscally responsible, but families do business differently than businesses.

Who does LJSD want to become? A business run by a boss, or a public school district led by a Board of Trustees and Superintendent with a business head and a mother’s heart.

2007, 2010: Deja-vu all over again?


PS: Not all step-mothers are evil. Some are wonderful! Just sayin’!

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