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Back to school in Brookline: Town, teachers reach deal

Negotiators for the town and the Brookline Educators Union reached a contract deal at 4:20 this morning, and school will be open first thing.

State Rep. Tommy Vitolo reports the deal runs through 2026 and "with improvements in pay and working conditions."

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Comments

To feel good about achieving your goals through holding the lives and education of children hostage.

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I must have missed the kids being held at gunpoint in the news coverage here.

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It is weird to feel good about achieving your goals through holding the education of children hostage.

https://www.thedailybeast.com/the-chicago-teachers-union-takes-kids-and-...

These decisions impact working parents the most and the teacher’s unions do treat it like a hostage situation.

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It's not "taking kids hostage" to negotiate for a better deal, whatever you or this highly biased op-ed from the Daily Beast think.

These decisions impact working parents the most

That seems like an issue with our greater society and our lack of assistance for working families, and not a problem that the Brookline Teachers Union is responsible for solving.

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It is weird to feel good about achieving your goals through holding the education of children hostage.

https://www.thedailybeast.com/the-chicago-teachers-union-takes-kids-and-...

These decisions impact working parents the most and the teacher’s unions do treat it like a hostage situation.

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The striking teachers? Or the district that implores, "You can't leave, what about the children?"

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To feel good about achieving some vague fiscal goals through mistreatment and underappreciation of the people responsible for the lives and education of children

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By what logic does “I won’t show up to work unless my employer offers acceptable pay and working conditions” equate to holding anybody hostage or holding anybody’s education hostage?

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There were probably a lot of parents "held hostage" Sunday night not knowing whether or not they had to take a personal day to watch their kid on Monday if there was no school.

or

The concept that parents may have had to worry about finding their kids another form of schooling if the strike went longer. I think we all knew this wouldn't last more than a day or two but it could have. Not knowing the intent of the union kind of leaves the parents in a potential bind doesn't it?

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You work so hard to rile people up. But anyone can see the biased sources that you choose.

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That left wing news sources don’t write about the problem with teacher’s unions. It’s also not me riling anyone up. They are the ones who went on strike and threatened to stop educating children after schools were closed for a year.

Here are two more sources

https://www.nytimes.com/roomfordebate/2011/02/18/the-first-blow-against-...

https://www.newsweek.com/are-teachers-unions-problem-or-solution-69379?a...

They are also losing students quickly and a drop in enrollment means a drop in budgets. Schools that close more always lose more students.

https://www.boston.com/news/national-news/2022/05/17/with-plunging-enrol...

https://www.boston.com/news/local-news/2021/12/31/teachers-union-asks-th...

Learn about the difference between public and private sector unions. One can support private sector unions while disagreeing with public sector unions.

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None of these links support your claims about the Brookline Teachers Union. The only difference between public and private sector unions is that the taxpayers opinions matters to the outcome. That doesn't mean that public sector workers don't deserve rights. Brookline hasn't negotiated a timely contract for many years. They can't use a law against strikes to argue in bad faith.

Just because you drank the corporate koolaid and looked the other way while private sector workers lost all their rights doesn't make Brookline teachers wrong. When a person works for a company that doesn't provide fair compensation, healthcare and pension the taxpayer is the workers safety net. The decline in unions means that taxpayers are providing health care, and retirement pay for many people that worked for wealthy corporations. The property and business owners of Brookline should pay these teachers fairly and not spread the bill out to all taxpayers.

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You dismiss people you disagree with as trolls. We’ve established that already.

I never said teachers shouldn’t be paid or that the people of Brookline shouldn’t care about whether or not those teachers are paid a fair salary and benefits.

I also did nothing to aid in the process of the decimation of private sector unions, unless you count voting for democrats my entire life as a contributing factor. The decline in unions is far more nuanced than you are making it out to be. It is the result of globalization and changing employment opportunities, as well as push back from private corporations as you implied. I can paste links if you want or go read for yourself.

Regarding operating in “bad faith,” there are laws in place to prevent teachers unions from abusing their powers. You’re welcome to “believe” in them or not.

You know what I did when I felt mistreated long enough by any of my employers? I found new employment elsewhere and left without looking back. It’s a wide open job market right now and everyone is hiring. Just because teachers have more leveraging power (by holding kids’ education hostage) than other public (or private) sector employees doesn’t mean it should be used in bad faith, as you say.

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"I get it" in troll talk means I am going to make up some assertions to ascribe to your imaginary opponent.

And you are actually saying that saying that teachers shouldn't get paid for their work. If you don't have scheduled planning time, then you are not paid for planning time. When you regurgitate anti-union talking points then you actually are aiding the process of decimating unions. Unconstitutional laws banning teachers from from work actions should be struck down. Believe the facts, the town of Brookline refused to negotiate their position until the teachers went on strike. Quitting might be ok for you, but these workers earned their job and shouldn't have to leave to get treated properly. They earned that leverage and they have a right to use it.

As usual, you haven't bothered to explain how your dozens of links support your claims. Do you even read those articles?

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I’ll censor myself to not use imaginary troll speak that triggers you.

I actually do think teachers should be paid well and deserve good benefits. I just don’t think they should hold the education of kids hostage to achieve this goal. Unions can help with some things in education performance, but they absolutely hurt the lowest and highest achieving students.

Planning time? There are hundreds of professions that involve unpaid planning time. Teachers are not special in this regard and do not get special treatment because the have a union that can shut things down illegally. They haven’t “earned” anything more than any other devoted working professional. You may not like the law and it upsets you, but it is still the current law.

What makes one job position need more special treatment than another? If people in other professions can seek out new employment at another company, teachers can find work in another district. Many don’t even live in the towns they teach, sometimes due to finances and other times not.

Even if you paid teachers as much as doctors, it will still be a thankless position from the view of overall society and those on the inside will still know and feel this sentiment. I hold teachers in a very high regard while still thinking their union tactics are smug. However, many people often say those that can do and those that can’t, teach, and it’s a pretty gross statement that encompasses the view of many.

What it comes down to is our society as a whole does not truly value education or those devoted to it. I could write a book on this but will leave it at that.

As for the links, I’ve already spoken with you for a ridiculously long time about something else and it seems you can’t read. I don’t know what tell you if you just deny every single piece of evidence sent your way.

Before you write back, don’t bother, because I will just do what you do now and simply deny everything you say without evidence.

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That doesn't even mention buying teaching materials with their own money.

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that all of the dissatisfied teachers in Brookline (I assume a majority of union membership) should have just quit their jobs instead of staging a one day strike that brought them back into the educational space the next day with an amenable new contract?

You know what I did when I felt mistreated long enough by any of my employers? I found new employment elsewhere and left without looking back.

It sure feels like that's the natural suggestion from your anecdote. I have to imagine that outcome would have had a far more detrimental impact on the education of students in Brookline than a one day strike did.

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Otherwise they’ll be dealing with the same problem again in the future.

I would have to see who the teaches are to determine if new hires would be better.

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.

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The power company went on strike and prevented you from getting electricity. Would you not feel like they were holding the power to your home as a hostage in an effort to use it in negotiations for better contracts?

The fact of the matter is that public sector unions do not work for the benefit of the public, only themselves. No one is saying you shouldn’t fight for better contracts, but when public sector unions go on strike, they are working against the public and taxpayers. In this situation they are also working against children and families.

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And anyway, there are all sorts of unexpected things that can cause your power to fail unexpectedly. It's not as if a tree cares about you being inconvenienced when it falls on the power line.

And yes, utility workers go on strike every so often too.

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Yea they would be “holding me hostage” in terms of my decisions to either find another source of power or waiting their dispute out. the control is not in my hands anymore.

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But it isn't the workers. it is the for profit utilities.

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Which I assumed was the workers. That is what I was responding to.

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abuse of power is really corporate thing, not a union thing.

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the "customer" is still without services whether or not the workers don't show up or the company locks them out. Either way the customer is at the whim of both worker/company to an extent, especially for the short term.

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I am talking about for profit power companies providing poor service and deferring maintenance, then requiring a rate hike.

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If workers strike, if the workers all call in sick, if the workers all slow down production or sabatoge, if they are locked out, if the company shuts off power to people who don't pay their bills on time, if the company decides to double everyone's rates at midnight and won't turn on the power until the bill is paid, etc etc.

All examples of the consumer having no power (being held hostage).

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except my example is the only one that is real.

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Yes. Power companies can provide crappy service and still raise rates. I've never really had a huge problem with my electric service though. I feel that they actually do a solid job. I realize they have a monopoly and things could change, but I still don't feel like I've ever been "held hostage".

There were actual Brookline parents who had to take a day off because of the unknown. A power company would never impact my life that way.

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Debating cinnamngrl is a lost cause. Every truthful thing you say will be retorted with “you’re wrong” and there will be zero supporting evidence.

She lives in a bubble and refuses to come out.

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The administrators refused to negotiate in good faith. They have been unwilling to negotiate a contract on time for decades. Parents should put that blame with the town of Brookline.

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It is standard procedure for the Town of Brookline (and many towns) to use this tactic. The town offers a proposal, the union says yes or no, and they have to go to another mediator each time and start another process dictated by state law. I'd guess there are 1,000 public sector unions in the State that "don't have a contract". Just because the union says the Town negotiated in bad faith, doesn't mean they did. In the end they didn't really get what they wanted anyway.

(FYI I am very close to someone in this union).

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But do you believe the town negotiated in good faith?

Many towns use a tactic that years of anti union politics let them get away with. Just because other towns do it, doesn't make it honest.

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In the end everyone gets a retro check and there is an agreement, even if it is forced by an arbitrator.

In this case the Brookline Union basically wanted the Town to violate labor law (by asking the Town to give minority staff tenure without going through the process that non-minorities go through). It is subjective to decide whether this posturing is "negotiating in bad faith". And even then, if the union thinks the town negotiated in bad faith, they can take them to court over it.

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That is important insight into the minority tenure issue, but what about planning time and pay?

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And the interest is factored in (although not mentioned specifically)

The "pay" they agreed to was in between what each was asking for, although some "step" stipends were agreed on and these were seniority based from about 1k to 5k a year.

The planning time mostly impacts the HS teachers, but from what I understand it goes something like this:

A HS teacher teaches 4 classes (Phys ed and some UA teach 5 and this was negotiated down). There are 6 periods during the day. So each teacher gets 2-3 "free" periods during the day. I am not sure if something like cafeteria duty or study hall duty are stipends and/or paid. But there will always be planning periods. Are they paid? I'm still not sure exactly how that works. Assuming they get paid for each class (80K per year divided by 4 is 20K per class) do they now get 5K to "work" during the free period? Maybe they should, unless that 80K per year simply included working 7:20am to 3pm (the school day).

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I meant generally retro is not a given. you would know about this specific negotiation.

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It is negotiated, but I've never seen a municipal contract that wouldn't include retro.

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lived it

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Is laughable.

I know you’ll deny any and all links of evidence so I’m just going to say

You’re wrong.

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About what?

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You are clearly biased against unions. And then you waffle and pretend that you care about teachers pay but expect them to get fair treatment by magic?

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would you say that they're hurting children?

If yes, then *you're* hurting children right now by not working as a teacher.

If no, then I don't see any "hostage-taking" happening by going on strike, which is like temporarily quitting.

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And can do as they choose. Many parents wouldn’t blame the teacher and would put the accountability on the administrators.

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even though the outcome is exactly the same for the students you claim are being held hostage? I think you may have not thought your argument all the way through here.

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Someone else gets hired in their place. The company or school can replace them with proper notice. It’s not the same. Walking out is walking out, yes, but normally you give your employer notice before leaving.

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There is no school without teachers. They have earned the right to be compensated fairly. Giving notice to an employer is courtesy not a law.

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To impregnate a woman without intending to do so in a liberal, affluent Northeastern United States enclave, thus rendering this exercise unnecessary in the first place, but here we are.

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