Our Plan to Democratize the WTA Negotiations, Mediations and Arbitration

We believe the City of Waterbury, Mayor Neil O’Leary, the Board of Education and the Waterbury Teachers Association can build a collective bargaining agreement that prioritizes student needs over job-protections.  We also believe teachers and teacher unions are the most influential stakeholders in creating student centric solutions.  They have the intellectual capital and political will to accomplish anything.

On October 19 2015 we sent a letter to Waterbury Mayor Neil O’Leary, B.O.E. President Charles Stango and W.T.A. President Kevin Egan asking for the temporary suspension of the current contract negotiations.  In short, we are asking for a citizen advisory board to be allowed to observe negotiations, mediations, and arbitrations.   We believe this will facilitate the democratization of this process, and make sure student needs are prioritized over job-protections for employees.

Additionally, we have a constructed a plan that accentuates the need for raising teacher salaries, reducing class size, and increasing tuition reimbursement for teachers.  We are also asking the W.T.A. to forgo Last In First Out Layoff practices that rely solely on seniority; going forward this would allow for teacher evaluations be equally weighted to seniority, to implement a rubric that assesses teachers’ performance as it relates to achievement gaps and discipline disparities in their classrooms, and to forgo the W.T.A. monopoly on high school sports coaching positions; therefore making these positions equally available to the best candidate in and out of the district, and this will allow Black and Hispanic community members who are qualified to be coaches and serve as mentors and role models.

Our recommendations will benefit teachers and students.  Our recommendations will help recruit and retain highly qualified  school professionals.  Our recommendations will improve student experiences and drive performance levels upward.  Finally, we believe our recommendations prioritize student needs over everything else. This paradigm shift is needed.

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