Wednesday, November 19, 2008

OPSB Votes Down Collective Bargaining

Yesterday, the lame-duck OPSB voted to reject a new contract with the teacher's union.

Fahrenholtz, who had said all along that he would vote no, said, "It really needed to be addressed by the incoming board."


No similar crisis of conscience when it came to approving the school facilities master plan as a lame duck, however.

I wanted the board to pass the contract. The teacher was often seen as an impediment to progress but it's not like this new agreement is some stone-aged relic:

The contract proposal sought to give teachers a say in curriculum and professional development through an existing joint task force; to give teachers the right to expunge certain unflattering material from their personnel files after three years; and to allow union representatives time during the school day to allow them to handle school issues without interfering with instruction.

That seems pretty reasonable to me.

But I actually do agree with Jimmy Fahrenholtz that it's a matter that should be taken up by the new democratically elected school board. I just wish he felt the same way about his vote on the school facilities master plan.

And I also wish we'd picked a better incoming school board. It is highly unlikely that the issue of collective bargaining for teachers will be revisited by the new board. I believe that the current board would have voted to approve the contract had we not selected a new board that campaigned so openly against the teacher's union.

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