Saturday, September 20, 2008

Insider Trading . . . UCSD Style

It's bad enough when the tax-paying public is given no details of the proposed Utica teachers' contract before the School Board votes on it . . . it is quite another when the School Board itself has no details . . .
Utica schools Superintendent Marilyn Skermont Friday morning said she would not include a copy of the union-approved contract in her report to the board saying the item still was under negotiation. Portions of her report also are usually given to the Observer-Dispatch on Fridays.

She said there would instead be a presentation of the contract to the board Tuesday night.
Administrators can say whatever they want during a "presentation" . . . leaving out "details" that they consider "unimportant" (wink wink). The interests of the public are not always served by the administrators, and are not always served by the teachers' union. One can imagine scenarios where the union and administrators work in collusion with each other, accruing benefits unto themselves that are unacceptable to the people paying the bill.

Forcing a board to rely on administrators' interpretations of a contract (particularly those of a lame-duck superintendent) rather than allowing the board to read for itself, with time for digestion, the details of the contract is disrespectful to the Board, disrespectful to the public who elected the board, and is an attempt to turn the Board into a rubber stamp for the Teachers' Union and administration.

Approval of the proposed teachers' contract should be tabled until the next regular board meeting, so the details of the contract may be scrutinized.

This is Manipulation Technique 6: Keep the details secret. Just add it to the list of manipulation techniques I posted two years ago.

1 comment:

Greens and Beans said...

What's most dangerous is what we should add as Manipulation Technique 7: Use the most lucrative teacher contract as a template. I have witnessed other smaller school districts use the contract of the larger district as a basis for their contract negotiations. It is a simple economy of scale. All too often the larger districts have a greater tax base to amortize the cost of the more expensive contract over the smaller districts.

What's with all the secrecy? Why can't they be honest and open when it comes to spending taxpayer money? This all plays a role in "Manipulation Technique 7." Why don't they publish the school district employee wages like they publish the wages of State employees? I believe the public would be astonished to discover just how many $80,000+ annual salaried teachers we have on our school district payrolls. Remember, Teachers are seasonal employees that are employed only nine months of the year.