Dear Union Brothers and Sisters,
Thank you for your strength. Thank you for your solidarity. This has been an amazing week of support for our younger members. We understand that many of you were planning on attending the School Board meeting on Monday night, and if you still want to, we encourage you; however, do not feel obligated to attend Monday’s meeting. Our message has been received. We have achieved success! We want to move forward from a position of strength. We do not want negative media attention right now. Since the new district office has a much smaller meeting room, we also do not want to force a change of venue. We want the community to support us. If you do go, do it as a show of support and strength.
While we in no way support the reductions in force, we do know that the RIFs are not extreme, and we are pleased to share that news with you. In fact, they are no deeper than in previous years. Even though most teachers who were RIFed in the past were rehired, we understand this causes terrible anxiety for those in limbo. Although the administration intends to bring back all of the teachers, there is no guarantee, and we do not believe it is financially necessary.
However, we feel the best way to support our members is to show our strength. Wear your t-Shirt. Take pictures. Post those pictures on Facebook. Our Public Relations Chair, Lucas Spriggs, will post these on the website. Send one representative from your department to attend the board meeting. We will present the statement and petition to the school board quietly. The statement and subsequent petition many of you have signed is to make our message clear about how we feel about losing any teachers through reductions in force.
If you still plan to attend the meeting, please make it a quiet and respectful show of solidarity, but for now we really just want to show our support and solidarity by wearing our Local 434 red, white, and blue T-shirts on Monday, March 16.
Finally, and on another topic, your negotiating committee is working for you. There currently will be no changes to the Athletic Department. Please ask a negotiating committee member if you have questions. Rumors only lead to misinformation. We are all in this together, so please contact me or one of the following individuals if you have any questions about current negotiations: Matt Osborn, Shawn Coughlin, Joe Nesbit, Rich Hodson, Lisa Quandt, or Jeff Frerker.
Once again, thank you for your willingness to come to show your support. I am looking forward to seeing everyone wearing their red, white, and blue on Monday.
Proud alumnus, union member, and educator in District #201 since 2006.
Dr. Hentze is the author of High Finance with Hentze, a monthly blog that provides news about District 201's current financial state.