Bargaining starts off on bad foot
To listen to management’s bargaining team Monday, it would seem they are lucky to have enough money to open the district’s doors each morning.
Their attitude Monday, in our opening bargaining session this year, threw a wet blanket on any hopes of a quick and positive settlement.
Management came to the table with only enough money to support a 1 percent across-the-board increase — which would, as you might expect, be completely unacceptable to us. All this, while they are sitting on a record fund balance of over $65 million, or 13.63% of the budget (by Board policy, they must keep a 7.5% minimum fund balance).
I had high hopes that under new leadership, our district could avoid this yearly game of management coming in and crying poor, leaving us to spend months hammering out a decent salary increase, while employees wait to receive the yearly cost-of-living raise they have rightly earned.
It is certainly not a way to make employees feel appreciated.
When all is said and done, we will have a settlement that we will feel comfortable recommending to you. But unfortunately, management’s behavior at Monday’s session does not demonstrate a similar serious desire on their part.
We’ll keep at it!
— Barry Dubin, executive director of the Sarasota Classified/Teachers Association