Cairo Association of Teachers - Newsletter



CAT Tracks for December 1, 2004
ELECTION & NEGOTIATIONS

ELECTION DAY

It is time for the annual balloting for delegates to the IEA Representative Assembly to be held in Chicago at the beginning of March. The voting will take place at each attendance center. Be sure to participate!

There IS one contested position - that for "Ethnic Minority Delegate". So be sure to cast your vote for our very own PAM CARLTON! In fact...as an "insurance policy"...I would encourage you to write in Pam's name for the uncontested "Alternate" position...the second position on the ballot. We expect Pam to win the ethnic minority delegate election, but with elections...you never know!!!

LET THE BARGAINING BEGIN...

You've got to be kidding! We just did that!!!

Ahhhhh...time flies when you're having fun! You have been having fun haven't you?

Actually, it IS a tad early since the Contract (which expires in August 2005) sets a date of April 1st as a "beginning" point. However, Superintendent Harbin has indicated that the District is interested in beginning negotiations - the sooner the better - and he will get no argument there! In the past - as you well know - we didn't really start talking until the summer...and never got anything accomplished until later...sometimes MUCH later. Even our "successful" negotiations did not produce a contract until we were very much into the school year...many, many stress-filled months with unwanted distractions! Wouldn't it be amazing...to get a new contract negotiated - and ratified - before summer even arrives?!

Damn, Ron...what are you on?

Okay, okay...call me the eternal optimist. But...there's a new "kid" in town. The CAT always greets each new superintendent and each new round of negotiations with an open mind and a desire to be collaborative...not confrontational. Yes...in the past...we have gotten "burned". But...there's always a first time! And, maybe...just maybe...this can be that time!

So...to get started...your bargaining team needs your help. We need to know what you want...what you expect from the upcoming negotiations. Attached (to the paper edition of the CAT Tracks) is a "Membership Survey Form". PLEASE...take time to read and complete this form. In the past, the CAT has always remained strong in the face of adversity. The reason for this strength is that your bargaining team was always representing YOUR concerns...NOT "our" concerns! This is the way it should be...this is the way it will be!

So...please take a few minutes from your busy day - as we find ourselves "between holidays" - and put down on paper your concerns and "wishes" for a new contract. If something has been "bugging" you...write it down! Too often in the past, members have come up to me during negotiations - or after negotiations - to complain about something that "should have been addressed". By then it is too late...once the initial proposals have been exchanged, we are "locked in"...we can't bring up new topics. To do so would bring charges of "regressive bargaining". THIS is your chance to put your concerns "on the table".

We would like to have these surveys completed and turned in by next Friday - December 10th. Give the completed form to De De O'Shea, Ledora Beard, Deborah Hammel, or Ron Newell.

Thank you in advance for your input...your help!