Letters to the Editor

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STRIKE: Compromise and break the deadlock

Letter by Christi L. Johnson, Tacoma on Sep. 16, 2011 at 11:55 am with 4 Comments »
September 16, 2011 2:02 pm

A winner-take-all, take-no-prisoners mentality dominates the current contract negotiations with the Tacoma School District and its teachers. Unfortunately, animosity and gridlock occur when at least one party has a “take-it-or-leave-it” attitude.

Both the district and the Tacoma Education Association agree that the sticking point is the language regarding displacement/involuntary transfer. This is the divisive issue, not teacher pay or class size.

The district wants to make significant changes in how teachers are evaluated, displaced and reassigned. TEA has offered counter proposals, but up to this point the district has refused to look at them.

Perhaps Superintendent Art Jarvis and the elected members of the Tacoma School Board should consider compromising. If their true intentions are to increase student achievement by getting rid of poorly performing teachers, I suggest they look to see what has been effective in other school districts.

Obviously, this is hardly a problem unique to Tacoma. Instead of using the court system to intimidate and bully their teachers into going back to work, I believe time and taxpayer money would be better spent if the district and TEA worked collaboratively to find a solution that both parties can agree to.

It is the grown-up thing to do. Our schoolchildren deserve no less.

Leave a comment Comments → 4
  1. This is the first sensible thing I’ve read about the teacher strike in days. Thank you.

  2. So the administration has given up on the 1.9 percent pay decrease and class size. Maybe its time for TEA to consider compromising? They haven’t given an inch from their initial position????

  3. alindasue says:

    TMell said, “So the administration has given up on the 1.9 percent pay decrease and class size. Maybe its time for TEA to consider compromising? They haven’t given an inch from their initial position????”

    TEA’s original position included a pay raise and no classroom size increase at all. They already said they’d accept the districts compromise of no pay raise and a smaller class increase. The only issue left is the criteria for deciding transfers or layoffs.

    There is room for compromise in the district’s list of criteria. Many teachers have already stated they had no problem with the first four criteria on the list, as they were objective and measurable. Right now, though, subjective criteria account for 60% of a teacher’s evaluation.

    An easy compromise would be for the district to rewrite the rubric so that subjective criteria account for only 20% of the evaluation score rather than over half of it. From what I’ve been reading, I’m pretty sure the teachers might be willing to accept such compromise proposal.

  4. blakeshouse says:

    An illegal strike is a contract breaker on so many levels. Fire em and start over without the union thuggery behind them

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