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Teachers institute ‘work to rule’ plan



Published: Tue, January 15, 2013 @ 12:05 a.m.

By Susan Tebben

stebben@vindy.com

AUSTINTOWN

School officials are responding with a little surprise and a little understanding to Austintown teachers’ new efforts to have their grievances heard.

Teachers have instituted a new “work to rule” plan in which they do only what is explicitly required of them in their contract, excluding any extracurriculars or late nights grading papers that are not a part of their contracts.

The teachers and the school district have been in negotiations for a new contract since the previous contract ended in August.

“We’ve had very good negotiations so far,” said schools Superintendent Vincent Colaluca, who said he could not discuss the terms of the negotiations.

Colaluca said he has not heard any concerns voiced about impatience with the negotiation process and that the action by the teachers is “not a big, major issue.”

School board member Harold Porter said he could not speak for the board on the issue, but as a parent he feels the effects of the teachers’ actions a different way. As a parent of a child who participates in tutoring, he is disappointed to find that his daughter’s teacher would not be giving her help in a school subject because of that teacher’s decision to not stay after school unless it is contractually obligated.

“I’m sure they’re frustrated, and I can’t blame them,” Porter said. “But now, it’s affecting my children.”

Barbara Tomic, teachers union president, could not be reached Monday afternoon.

Colaluca said he is confident the teachers would act in a professional way so that they will be treated in a professional way.

“They have a seven-hour work day, and if they don’t do those hours they aren’t fulfilling their contract,” Colaluca said. “If they want to act like professionals we’ll treat them like professionals. If they want to act like hourly employees, we’ll treat them like hourly employees.”

Though the process is ongoing, the superintendent said federal budget cuts have caused many money problems for the school district, as with any other schools in the country.

“I do feel for the teachers and what they’re going through,” he said. “I understand their frustration, but I hope their frustration is directed at the federal government.”


Comments

1lee(544 comments)posted 1 year, 9 months ago

Seven hours A day and 180 days A year. I'm retired and I work more than that.

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2TB(1167 comments)posted 1 year, 9 months ago

Treat them like professionals Vince. Negotiate in good faith. Quit playing games at the table. Would you work without a contract for six months?

If he's unaware then he's not listening. Maybe he's unaware because he's trying to get a job elsewhere.

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3nipsy(133 comments)posted 1 year, 9 months ago

I just worked a year and a half without a contract!! I still did my route through wind, sleet, rain, snow and dead of night!! So give me a break! Whoever the Union rep . is who came up with this brilliant idea and decided to make it public should be relieved of their position. This just makes the teachers look petty and un-committed to their job, which I am sure is not the case. Public image means a lot and this does not help your public image.

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4jethead11(139 comments)posted 1 year, 9 months ago

Teachers using children as pawns in their contract negotiations, backed by organized labor. Welcome to the 21st century union movement. Isn't it time to take collective bargaining away from these people? This is not a for-proft company here with "greedy" CEO's or shareholders.

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5eagleye(59 comments)posted 1 year, 9 months ago

I'd just terminate all contracts. The large financial problems facing most states is trying to pay for public employee pensions. Even Roosevelt warned against having public employees belong to unions. It's a huge problem and over time they should be eliminated. A school district should post the job requirements, salary, and conditions. If you don't like the arrangement, find a job somewhere else, or get another line of work. We're all tired of being held hostage by unions. I've been a union member and never liked the intimidation, subtle and otherwise, the extorted dues, the politics and greed of the upper officials, and the corrupting influence on politicians. There's virtually NOTHING I can find in unions in the modern era that is a redeeming quality.

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6republicanRick(1169 comments)posted 1 year, 9 months ago

Don't let teachers rob Austintown taxpayers of their hard-earned and dwindling money.

These negotiations would never have stretched on this long if the teachers would understand the plight of their bosses - the taxpayer.

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7rocky14(710 comments)posted 1 year, 9 months ago

eagleye

That's why you aren't a teacher.No brains--just anti union.

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8redeye1(4564 comments)posted 1 year, 9 months ago

gdog You ought to get that stuttering problem you have.look at. We have representatives who go to Columbus and sit on their fat arses and do nothing but blame him. for everything just like you Why aren't they working on this problem or at least talking about it? . This problem with money for education started with good old Teddy boy and the demoncrats . So if you and your D party demons want to blame anyone blame him.

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9DwightK(1266 comments)posted 1 year, 9 months ago

Teachers deserve all the respect in the world but sometimes they do things that make their supporters cringe. Many professionals work a scheduled 9 hour day so doing a little work at home isn't a big deal. They get "waiver days" to catch up on training while other professionals do it on Saturday or after hours. Now this kind of nonsense is going on. This is what makes people vote no on school levies.

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10TB(1167 comments)posted 1 year, 9 months ago

Newsflash. Levies are being voted down regardless of concessions. That's a red herring. I see a group of employees deciding to work the job they were hired to work.

As for using the children as pawns, that's another red herring. The teachers are still there working every day. Since you didn't referenvw the issues that the administration appeqrs to be unwilling to address, I will.

Class size: lower class sizes are proven to positively affect student achievement.

Textbooks: there aren't enough in some classrooms and many are outdated.

Programs: they want more programs for students instead of funneling all students into one or two courses of study.

Talk about frustration and doing what's right for students. The teachers are attempting to prepare these students for a global economy, are working without a contract, and are tying to improve the schools for the students.

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11jethead11(139 comments)posted 1 year, 9 months ago

TB, you are correct that there are a lot of problems with education today. But taking services away from children, which is what the union said they were going to do in this article, is selfishness and greed at its worst. Teachers are forced to pay the union good money to help with the issues that need to be dealt with. The union can do that without harming the children. If they can't, they need to vote in a union that can.

If people see their children being harmed by the actions of this union, I suggest you brace yourself for the consequences. We'll make a national example out of this and you can kiss forced unionization and public employees unions goodbye. America is fed up with the greed and hypocrisy of the union movement and are finally fighting back. Michigan is right to work, need I say more. Hopefully Ohio wakes up and gets on board soon too.

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12doubled(210 comments)posted 1 year, 9 months ago

So is this how it's supposed to work? Let's see. Our "esteemed" governor cuts significant amounts of funding for our schools and puts it on the backs of local communities to raise their own funds through levies, we then vote down the levies that will be used to fund things like tutoring programs, extracurriculars, etc, then we get angry when the teachers refuse to work those programs for free. Is that how it works in the tea party's version of capitalism? You folks champion the cause of the failed billionare CEO who has bankrupted his company and rail agains tthe gov't for trying to raise his taxes by 3%, screaming socialism, yet you condemn a teacher who has a contract to teach for 7 hours a day and then refuses to work extra hours for free -- sounds like a soft form of communism to me, expecting someone to work for free. You people are a strange lot. You demand every service you can get from your gov't yet you can't understand when it comes time to pay for it. You gladly use up every community resource you can get your grubby little fingers on yet you scream socialism if anybody ever asks that you pitch in and help pay for those services. You're all over the place - and it's really no wonder that you were the main reason why the GOP was destroyed in Nov. No sane American can understand what the heck it is your trying to accomplish. I'm not in favor of what the teachers are doing, but I also don't expect ANYONE to work for free. IF the administration wants the teachers to do this extra stuff as part of their duties, and in return for their compensation, then perhaps they should put that in their contract -- or is it only private sector contracts that the tea party supports? You know, like the multi miion dollar deal the corp CEO got for failing at his job. You've already demonstrated that you're ready and willing to fight for that guys right to keep every nickle of what he "earned". Yet you expect the middle class earners - who are also taxpayers - to work extra for nothing. Is that the way it works for you folks? Here's a thought for you - pick an idea, a cause, a theory, whatever, and stick to it. Because as it stands today, no one believes a word that comes out of your mouths right now. There's a reason that the vast majority of Americans truly dislike the tea party. You're phony - and we know it. Deal with it.

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13jojuggie(1306 comments)posted 1 year, 9 months ago

WOW! doubled doesn't care much for the Tea Party. I'll bet that he loves the Occupiers.

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14UsuallyBlunt(105 comments)posted 1 year, 9 months ago

doubled....you are the one "all over the board"! For the most part, it is liberals and the entitlement crowd that use up all of the community resources and government services! Not the TAXPAYERS of this country! We KNOW where the money comes from...our own pockets...we strive for SMALLER GOVERNMENT...not more "SERVICES"!

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15meagain(80 comments)posted 1 year, 9 months ago

I'm not sure you really get it. No one is doing anything illegal or breeching any part of their contract. They are doing exactly what they have been hired to do. They are fulfilling their contracts and doing exactly what it calls for them to do - no more but also no less. You act as though taking a stand and trying to demand action from the administration is a crime. Maybe some of you may actually begin to realize how much our teachers do everyday above and beyond what is actually required of them. The old saying never judge a man until you walk in his shoes exist for a reason. Just because you went to school or have children that attend school does not make you an expert in the work our dedicated teachers do ALL year.

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16TB(1167 comments)posted 1 year, 9 months ago

People here can't grasp that concept...these teachers ARE doing their job. No teacher is harming any student. They're still teaching classes. They're still grading papers and preparing lessons.

What I hear is a bunch of whining about teachers who make a fair wage...who work on their own time without being compensated....who contribute to their pensions and pay health care costs

If you are one of those posters suffering from pension envy or benefit jealousy, why not step into the profession? Plenty of charter schools are hiring and you won't have to worry about unions in them.

Using greedy unions as a scapegoat just doesn't fly anymore either. Unions represent less than 10 percent of the national workforce, yet some people brand then with the collapse of the economy and poor business climate, despite record earnings being made in the private sector.

Come to grips with the fact that the folks working in these schools are well-educated problem solvers who deal with problems that police, health care professionals, nurses, parents, etc deal with every day AND somehow manage to educate on top of that.

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17jethead11(139 comments)posted 1 year, 9 months ago

I think some people don't understand the difference between salaried workers and hourly workers. Teachers are not hourly workers. They are salaried, which means they work until the job gets done. That may mean grading papers at 9:00pm. It's is part of their job, just like every other salaried person in America deals with.

All I am saying to the teachers is don't mess with the kids. Work out your issues like the professionals you are, not like longshoremen. And please teach your fellow union supporters the definition of communism and socialism. They have no clue what either are.

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18TB(1167 comments)posted 1 year, 9 months ago

They aren't messing with the kids.

Please elaborate on your last sentence.

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19Lifes2Short(3877 comments)posted 1 year, 9 months ago

You people have NO clue what teachers have to put up with, the majority of you's would not last one day. Step in a teachers shoes one day and you would understand.

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20Bigben(1996 comments)posted 1 year, 9 months ago

Lee

"Seven hours A day and 180 days A year. I'm retired and I work more than that."

Are you paying for life long learning for your job in the summer and license renewal fees and background checks ? Teachers get there early in the morning before the official day starts. They are working at home after school hours grading papers and working on lesson plans. They are making phone calls home to parents. The time frame changes when we take a closer look. I am not saying there aren't bad apples in any bunch but isn't that so any where?

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21TB(1167 comments)posted 1 year, 9 months ago

How are those voucher programs and charter schools.doing for.student achievement and graduation rates? Oh, that's right. Vouchers change nothing and charter schools underperform. Good use of tax money.Right.sam?

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22cozmo(32 comments)posted 1 year, 9 months ago

As a conservative I actually agree with the teachers here. Bargaining rights are something that should be respected. This is why Kasich's senate bill 5 got shot down big. Bargaining rights are part of this countrys foundation and democracy. Power will eventually rest with someone or some group, so why not let there be a voice from all stakeholders and let them negotiate. This prevents party takeovers and this also creates a level playing field for all involved. Eventually both sides will work it out, but if you cant even respect people especially teachers to atleast negotiate something is wrong. These are people who were required to spend money on masters degrees and have huge outstanding school loans, thats the least they deserve serving our children.

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23cozmo(32 comments)posted 1 year, 9 months ago

If you dont want to pay teachers then you shouldnt require them to have a masters degree or to be "highly qualified". Why would anyone want to go into that profession if it would take them 25 years just to pay off their school loan? Look at other jobs which require masters degrees and they are easily making $70,000...It takes a teacher 15 years just to get to the $50,000 mark on average and besides would you want someone teaching your child who isnt highly qualified? Think about it. Its a double edged sword.

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