Thursday, October 15, 2009

An Apology To the MEA

I'm sorry. That's to the MEA. Apparently some feel that I've attacked them which is not my intent. I consider the MEA to be an integral part of fashioning a solution to the mess we face in funding schools today. Schools stand to lose nearly 10 years of funding increases over the next 24 months, this fact is only debated as to how much larger the shortfall will become. There is no single solution to the problem, there is no single bad actor. Whether it's a combination of tax changes (e.g., why has the beer and wine tax stayed the same since the ice age), adjustments to total compensation (which can include benefits), or an overhaul of the whole system, we need all players at the table soon. So again MEA, I'm sorry. I'm just looking for help from you, the Legislature, the Governor, and the thousands of other players involved in this undertaking. I may be alone in this but I don't think we have any time to waste.

1 comment:

Geoff said...

You sure have a strange way of showing that you want to work with the MEA by asking everyone to call the reps to "demand hearings" and urge local units to open up contracts to make "structural adjustments."

Are no contracts sacred? Should every contract or pact be reopened b/c times have changed?

And as for the 1-4% readjustment, call a pay cut a pay cut. By calling it a readjustment, it makes it all sound all fuzzy and nice. Since we haven't had a wage increase that keep pace with inflation in years (and school board contracts require that employees pay more and more for their health care), prices continue to go up while your employees' purchasing power declines. So, if you add up the -2%, -3%, -1%, etc. over the past eight years since the board has begun this cutting, you'd get your 20% pay cut.

When the state takes away our bargaining rights, health care is one of the few perks that we can bargain for. So when Dillon wants to forcibly put public state employees on his plan, some people like MEA officials might resort to a little hyperbole (something, of course, you never engage in). And of course, when the state takes over something like school funding, it does an awesome job, right?

But, for BPS and other school districts across the state, it's one less headache. Out of sight, out of mind.

Mr. Lawrence, education is a people business, not a bottom line business. It's a service, and the people of the Birmingham / Beverly Hills / Franklin / West Bloom / Southfield area get a darn good service for what they pay. Try not to forget that people and children are involved in this endeavor.