Negotiating for Change: Modifying Collective Bargaining Agreements for School Turnarounds
This set of papers from Mass Insight may start the most honest conversation about school turnarounds to date: In order to fix failing schools, it reminds us, collective-bargaining agreements must be fundamentally redesigned. To that end, the report package provides useful guidelines as to how states, districts, unions, and advocates can negotiate and draft CBAs that advance turnaround efforts. It also identifies contract elements that must be bargained to clear room for turnaround success. For example, instead of CBAs that reward seniority and allow a centralized, inefficient authority to make all school-based decisions, the authors push for contracts in which key decisions are made by school leaders and staff in exchange for accountability. To attain this revamped CBA model, the authors outline several approaches to negotiation (e.g., “living contracts” and third-party facilitation) as well as suggestions for specific contract modifications. The report even provides sample language for model contracts. One interesting proposal (seen today in places like New Haven, CT) allows individual schools to amend their district-wide CBAs, exempting them from certain bureaucratic roadblocks, and allowing them to create their own contracts, to which their teachers voluntarily commit (they remain members of the local union, however). There’s much important information in the five short papers for districts seeking to gain turnaround traction.
Rebecca Weinberg, Michael Contompasis, Dalia Hochman, and Meredith Liu, “Negotiating for Change: Modifying Collective Bargaining Agreements for School Turnaround,” (Boston, MA: Mass Insight Education, June 2011).
blog comments powered by Disqus