A Letter to the Community from the Dixon Education Association
February 25, 2013 1 Comment
Dear Parents, Substitute Teachers, and Community members,
The Dixon Education Association understands that you may be considering volunteering to help the school board open the schools in the event of a strike by our members. We wish to give you the employees’ point of view before you make a final decision.
First, we appreciate your concern to keep the schools open and your willingness to do what seems good for the students of our community. However, we would like you to consider whether helping the school board in this situation is a productive way to help your school system.
While the school board’s superintendent, Mr. Michael Juenger, has been describing the dispute as primarily one of money concerns, there are several other unresolved contract areas. Little productive or earnest discussion has occurred between the board’s negotiators and the DEA’s bargaining team.
Employees need and expect focused negotiations on working/teaching/learning conditions which affect students and teachers at grade levels throughout the district. The DEA has not asked for these contract ‘language’ items out of greed but, concern for learning, achievement for all students and the quality of the learning conditions and safety necessary for success for all students.
Yes, money is a factor in the unresolved contract discussions but, much more is at issue.
- The Dixon teachers are currently working for the third school year of a soft freeze to salaries. The DEA proposal includes moderate raises for teachers.
- Most teachers retiring in recent years have not been replaced. So, teachers are teaching more students.
- Special education options are being short-changed and the number of classroom aides has dwindled.
- Teachers will be required to teach a longer day and a longer school year with no compensation for our professional services.
- The Board’s proposal includes an additional demand for our after-school-time. Teachers would be required to staff concession stands and sell tickets at athletic events. If a teacher chose not to fulfill those requirements, they would have to pay the district to NOT serve those duties. This odd perspective on appropriate use of professionals’ time is indicative of the disrespect and disregard the Dixon teachers are shown in the Dixon School Board’s contract offer.
YOU CAN help to speed the re-opening of the Dixon schools by demanding that your school board direct its attention on their declared bargaining impasse and get to the business of negotiating with the DEA’s bargaining team.
The Dixon Education Association