- Nurses: We asked for six additional nurses to provide needed coverage. The department said it would redeploy six nurses out of the current allotment. In other words, there’d be no additional nurses hired.
- Social workers: The department agreed to hire eight additional social workers — but for one year only. What about school years 2013-14, 2014-15, and 2015-16? Will there be no need for social workers in those years? Will our students’ needs disappear overnight?
- Class size: The school department rejected this item without comment.
- Special Education paraprofessionals: The school department rejected this item without comment.
Let us restate here that the amount of money saved by our tentative agreement to accept a lower wage package would more than compensate the cost of items 1 through 4.
We have sent the school district a counter offer on all of the above. We look forward to sitting down with the school district this afternoon face to face and trying to come to “yes” on all of the above. It does take two sides to negotiate, however.
We call upon the superintendent to publicly debate the merits of their proposals as well as ours. We want to hear the superintendent’s articulation of the rationale for rejecting these items, all of whose cost will easily be subsidized from our proposed salary compromise. We agree to do the same.
We propose that the debate be a public event in a central location any evening. The school community deserves to hear from the school superintendent why the school district has taken all of the above positions. And similarly, the BTU president will do likewise and defend our positions.