A View from the Country
Al Holman, Publisher
March 18, 2011
Last year at about this time the Mendon Upton Regional School Committee was beginning to ask the Teachers Union to make some sacrifices in the contract to help the towns in these financially challenging times and for whatever reasons it did not happen. There was a lot of speculation on both sides of the table on why it did not happen. It left a bad taste in the mouths of the citizens in our towns, but life went on.
Last week the teachers approved a wage freeze for the next year including no step increases, COLA or lane changes. Last year I questioned whether the teachers understood that we were in this together and we all lose if we all don't make some sacrifices. I must now say that it appears that the teachers are now going to be part of the solution, and we all should thank them for the contribution they have agreed to make and how they are taking a civic-minded approach to the negotiations. I am not sure what changed on both sides, but it is refreshing to see the receptivity to change. This should set the tone for future negotiations and provide a good example to all of what can be accomplished when two sides work together with an understanding of the needs of both sides. It seems that the lines of communication are working and that is a good thing.
Now because of the issues in the mid-west, the state of Massachusetts is going to get into the mix. Let's hope that Mendon Upton District does not get involved because it seems that the teachers and the district are now communicating and don't need the legislators' help as it were. If Boston gets in the mix things will just get screwed up as usual. They don't know that anything exists outside of Route 128 and let's hope in this case they keep that concept.
And that's looking out my window - hoping that the communication that has been established continues.