Thursday, May 31, 2012

Southbridge Education Association President Addresses Membership

Ken O’Brien


[The following letter went out yesterday from SEA President David Williams to his membership]


Dear Colleagues,

There are a fair number of misconceptions surrounding the actions of the SEA's leadership recently and I would like to clarify our position. Our prescribed purpose is to protect hours, wages and conditions for all of our members. Unfortunately all three have come under attack in the last few years by this administration. 

In 2009, we successfully fought an attack on the hours we work. The District interpreted the additional 6 hours of meeting time in Article 10.8 to mean they could schedule these hours at any time during the year or day.  We grieved, not the use of the 6 hours, but that there had to be limits on when they could occur. We dropped the grievance when the District agreed to time constraints on how and when they could be used.


In 2010, we defeated an attack on everyone's salary when the district reduced our salary by one day.  In an attempt to settle this without arbitration, the SEA offered to forgo the disputed salary in exchange for making the day before Thanksgiving a half-day.  The district refused, stating they were not going to pay a full day's pay for a half day of work. After we won in arbitration the district asked the SEA to refuse the settlement or teachers might have to be let go to pay for it.  To make the situation worse, the school committee stated, at last week's school committee's meeting, that the SEA is the reason so much money is being spent in arbitration.  I will be making a response in the paper to refute the accusation.

In 2011, our evaluation procedure was next. Districts do not have to give a reason for nonrenewing a non-PTS teacher, they just can’t do it for a bad reason. In this situation observations were altered to reflect performance that was either not observed or not true. This was a gross misuse of our evaluation system and we had to defend the procedure. You were informed of the win because, as SEA members you are entitled to know what your dues are being used for. Although the MTA and the American Arbitration Association (AAA) say we have every right to, we did not send this decision to the paper or blogs.

This year, our right to bargain as a unit has been attacked.  We grieved the School Committee action to bypass the Association and bargain directly with members over a compensation issue, as Article 3 of our contract explicitly states the SEA is the exclusive representative of the membership. This grievance is still active, but it should be settled soon at very little cost.  The school committee is agreeing not to do this in the future so we will be dropping the grievance.

As you can see, not every grievance goes to arbitration. We will continue to work very hard to avoid unnecessary and costly arbitrations. The ones we do take forward have serious implications for us all.

These are the facts. We have nothing to hide. Pretending these attacks never happened is not in Southbridge's best interest, nor is it in the teachers’ best interest.  This district will only improve if and when the real problems are addressed openly and honestly.

David Williams
Southbridge Education Association, President

21 comments:

  1. You're a bag of wind David. Why are you on the Board of Health if you care so much about your position as Union President?

    Aren't you on another Board as well? Sounds like you're in the back pocket of the Town Manager to me. Give it a rest. You're just in it for yourself.

    ReplyDelete
  2. What an asinine comment! Mr. Williams can certainly be president of SEA and on any number of boards. You should be more concerned about the teachers who have to deal with Bishop, in the pocket of SL and JJ. Give it up Bill and friends! David we all thank you for your leadership.

    ReplyDelete
  3. "The Shadow"...when I was a kid, my parents used to talk about a radio show that referred to "Only the Shadow Knows". Thank you for bursting my bubble because; "The Shadow", you don't know chit.

    ReplyDelete
  4. The Shadow.... Talk about being asinine. Mr Williams is being a good leader by informing the membership of the on going issues. He has to because of the spin that the school committee is doing. You see the people that you mention, BB, JJ, SL and you forgot the Dr and TD they are the problem with the Southbridge School Committee. If it wasn't for the Fabulous 5 there would be no problems. The Superintendent could do his job with no interference. The principles could do their job except for BB and the teachers could teach. Mr. Williams has shown that he can protect the interest of the teachers and also be on other boards. Which by the way is his right. If the School Committee would follow the rules and labor laws instead of ruling by intimidation things would be much better within our school system. Hopefully that will change come this June. Keep up the good work Mr Williams

    ReplyDelete
  5. Let's not forget that SL and JJ worked their ***** off to get the town to approve $1M in technology for the schools when it was badly needed. They worked for years to get the state to pay for a new HS. That didn't just drop in our laps because the state felt sorry for us. That took planning, organization and lobbying that no town official has matched before or since. Then when everything was in place, our beloved TM dances in and practically sinks the deal with his hair brained financing scheme. What happened when the TC was in charge of building a new DPW building? How many millions was that over budget and the mess still hasn't been cleaned up. The new HS is ahead os schedule and under budget. Do you thinnk that happened by accident? These guys provide leadership and some people in town are scared of that. JJ and SL are all about providing for our kids. SEA is all about making sure tenured teachers get their big paychecks and retirement money. The above letter is all about money and benefits, not a word about doing anything for the kids.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. The school committee needs to sit down and shut up. They should be more like the town council and just do what there told. Trouble makers like SL and JJ need to get the boot. They're not professional educators so what do they know about running a school district? And TD, she's just a Ph.D. that teaches at WPI so let's not listen to her opinion. They're all glory hogs that think just because they were elected they should try and serve the public. What a lot of crap. Be more like the TC and hire experts that tell you what to do. Thinking for yourself is hard and can get you in trouble so they should all fall in line and take direction from the guy they hired.

      Delete
    2. If you call taking a piggyback ride from former Supt. Dale Hanley working your ******* off well you don't know what work is. It was former Supt. Hanley who got us the new school from the state not these two wanna bees.

      Attending meetings and watching her work her ***** off is far more accurate statement. Being present at meetings is far different from Doing the work.

      "These guys" type of leadership reminds me of all the Massachusetts’ convicted State House leaders type of leadership in that it won't end well for them. Abuse of power never does.

      Delete
    3. I don't think they ever took a piggyback ride on Dr Hanley. I was at the last tour for the new school and JJ stated very clearly that this would not have been possible without the hard work that Dr. Hanley did and how she was instrumental in getting this project to where it is today..I have also heard him say that in other settings as well. Plus, where have you been for all the meetings and hours that they and others put into this project. Must have been nice to be on the sidelines and just criticize!!! While I may not agree with everything they do, they should be thanked for the time that they have invested in the Town...but right it is easier to throw stones!!! In the words of Rick Pitino, the negativity in this place stinks!!or something like that.

      Delete
  6. The SEA reminds me of the irishman reclining in the dunes while the battle of Normandy raged all around him. An angey sergeant storms up to him and yells "we're outnumbered 2 to 1 why are you just sitting there?!". The irishman replies, "I killed my 2".

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Puh-lease. It's in the interest of municipal governments to reduce expenditures to cover budget gaps. It's in the interest of corporations to pay as little as possible, too. That's why unions exists. To rely on the "fairness" of government and corporations is a waste of time. You have to fight for what you deserve in this country. And if you don't, you get thrown overboard.

      Delete
    2. Have you notice this town is in terrible financial shape? Have you noticed the taxpayers cutting back on nonessentials? Have you noticed some people not being able to heat their homes last winter? Have you noticed the SEA doesn't give a **** and wants their members paid more for working less? Have you noticed we can't keep the best young teachers because the older teachers take the lions share of the payroll? I'm all for unions, I wouldn't have health care, vacation time or a 5 day work week without them. But the SEA isn't representing poor laborers. They represent well-to-do professionals who are trying to squeeze water from a stone.

      Delete
  7. SMARTER THAN THEMJune 1, 2012 at 6:25 AM

    Mr. Williams is all about selfishness, I agree GOOD teachers deserve to be paid for what they know and how well they teach. But as a taxpayer i for one dont like paying for DEAD wood in the system, The school budget is bloated enough, you all keep mentioning these members initials well you forgot the real problem ones MP DD PW those are the THREE STOOGES that are the undercurrent and the worse is MP shes a political HAG oh i meant HACK sorry. This is nothing but political BS! I for one will be voting for one and that one is JJ! Oh and Mr. Williams why dont you walk out your back door and slide into that swamp in back of your house that would be a good place for you to take up your slimmy politics and invite MP,DD,and PW! Hope you all can swim.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Gee Jack and Scott. Who did you get to write this one? Get off school committee, grow up and get a life. Stop living in the past.

      Delete
  8. Lazo, his jock buddy want to be’s and the hanger on posse are still living their high school days when they could bully their way to the top. God only knows why they are so committed to as pathetic an excuse for a human being as Bishop, but that’s the choice they’ve made. They should all go back to their Mill Street lair and keep singing “Glory Days”.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. The same goes for the TC incumbants. They choose to look the other way and let all this happen. Throw the bums OUT!!!

      Delete
    2. To Ken I understand your point, but people should be reminded somehow of this low life creature. I do appreciate where your coming from and answering why you didnt publish it Thanks keep up the good work! from the one who knows the past

      Delete
  9. Mary Ellen and Apple Vecchia will do and say anything on this blog (anonymously of course) to undermine JJ and SL. She needs to get over herself. She is 1/7th the reason the school department is under performing.

    Thank God for JJ, SL, TO, TD for their diligence in looking out for our children's needs, the citizens and the teachers. They have good jugdment, sense, and balance.

    ReplyDelete
  10. To: By one who knows of the past.

    Everything you say is true and I know it.

    Unfortunately, I don't have the resources to go to court over it when "you know who" sues me.

    ReplyDelete
  11. Ken, Did Butch threaten to sue you? I am very disappointed that my reply was there for two days and now, poof it's gone. It's pretty scary when a bunch of the town's politicians get so hurt when their names end up in a blog. Butch, if you can't stand the heat, get out of the kitchen!

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Butch denied that he was "TED" and I have no reason to doubt him. Do you really want to make an accusation you can't substantiate?

      Delete
    2. Sorry Ken...I know you are getting a lot of flack for being the messenger. I respect what you do and what you have to deal with. I promise to play fair...

      Delete

All comments subject to moderation. All commenters must use their own name or a screen name. No comments labelled as "Anonymous" will be published. To use your name or a screen name select "Name/URL" from the drop down menu. Insert you name in the "Name" space and leave the "URL" space blank.