And we’re back. Surprise! Nothing’s changed.

The spirit of Chicago, union head Karen Lewis inspires her Greenwich peers.

The spirit of Chicago, union head Karen Lewis inspires her Greenwich peers.

Town and Greenwich teachers union engaged in secret negotiations over next contract.

The GEA is looking for a three-year contract, which would run from 2015 to 2018. The union’s current three-year pact ends June 2015. It has approximately 900 members and represents almost all district teachers.

Neither side has disclosed what teachers are seeking, citing a need for confidentiality.

As always, the BOE will cut a deal and present it for rubber stamping by the RTM, claiming “it’s the best we could do.” Somehow I doubt that; refusing to disclose the union’s demands seems to me to be a deliberate policy to keep the taxpayers in the dark until the dirty work’s been done.

29 Comments

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29 responses to “And we’re back. Surprise! Nothing’s changed.

  1. Anon also

    Looks like Louis Farrakan, with nails

  2. Breach of fiduciary duty to taxpayers?

  3. Greenwich Taxpayer

    You are right about the RTM rubber stamping whatever is finally approved. No leadership in the RTM and it is filled withe PTA types and Town workers that don’t know how to ask hard questions or cut any budget. The RTM Education Committee is a commitee of cheerleaders for the excessive spending of McKersie and the Board of Ed. There will be another back room deal between “I want to be First Selectman” Mason and the unions (through an ineffective BOE) that will end up costing us taxpayers millions. Fiduciary duty? Not in Greenwich. There’s no one minding that store…

    • Art Layton

      Perhaps you should run for the BOE?

      • Yellowbelly Taxpayer (aka Greenwich taxpayer)

        Are you kidding? It is much easier to lob grenades from my armchair anonymously. I actually am on the RTM but am too chicken–it to stand up and attach my name to anything I say.

        • Greenwich Resident

          The current RTM has to be one of the most worthless, do-nothing spine less set of yahoos in Town. Few, if any, stand up because of their superficial understanding of all matters. The RTM needs to be revamped and reduced in size—and get some fresh, new blood.

      • Greenwich Taxpayer

        Thought about it but the problem is that the politicos that run the two parties don’t want anyone that actually has a brain and would attack anyone big time that attacks the status quo. The PTAC types control the parties and they get in their “yes” men/women who are like Barbara O’Neill who takes her marching orders from them. I wouldn’t stand a chance.

    • RTM member, Riverside resident

      The BOE this year is the worst yet. Nothing has changed. Even with competive elections. What did we end up with? Former PTA members that never held a job. On the Democratic side all were members of the PTA including Appelbaum who votes only how Erickson does ( remember Erickson people….she wanted the BET but only got 2 votes) On the Republican side we have BOE former teacher Oneil and Bernstein who like Applebaum only votes the way he is told.

      Lets hope someone on this dangerous do nothing board holds firm.

      • Voter

        At least Appelbaum smiles once in a while. She doesn’t have a clue but at least she smiles. Erickson doesn’t even grin. She is one angry chick. Or she doesn’t have teeth. They both never held a job and both come from the PTA. Its unbelievable that negotiations are conducted behind closed doors.

      • Appelbuam is Vice Chair and she does take orders from Erickson. I attended 3 BOE meetings in the last 2 months and witnessed first hand Appelbaum looking to Erickson for advice how to vote. She talks a good game and acts as though she knows everything but in fact she doesn’t. My recommendation to her is look to Sherr for advice. He at least sometimes will try and do whats right. Sometimes.

  4. Anonymous

    Hmm. Yes. Why are the sticking points in this negotiation confidential ? Was wondering when you would post this.

  5. I guess Freedom of Info Act does not apply to Greenwich residents.

  6. Art Layton

    Very normal for union contracts to be negotiated in secrecy. Without privacy, nothing would ever get negotiated. And remember the Constitution was created in total secrecy.

    • Baseball players and NYC unions publicly reveal their demands, yet the world continues. Negotiations are one thing, opening demands are another.
      And if I thought our current town leaders bore even the slightest resemblance to our founding fathers, I might buy your second point. But ….

  7. Toonces

    The constitution and a contract between a union and (let’s face it) the taxpayers are two very different things, Art.

    • Art Layton

      When you are negotiating a contract with a union, why would you want to explain your negotiating strategy to the general public? Why would you want to explain to every yahoo with a blog why you are willing to increase OPEB spending if you can get Union leaders to agree to a lower pay increase now? Airing all the negotiations makes it very difficult for the parties involved.

      • That’s fine, Art, you just bend over a stool and wait to discover what the town “negotiators” have decided. No need to worry your little head with details when experts are here to do your thinking for you.

        • Totally agree with Chris on this one! Compounded by 6 members of the BOE who really do not know anything about true negotiations. Elections have consequences people!

        • Art Layton

          And what would you do if you knew and understood the negotiating points? Present your suggestions? Castigate whoever is negotiating for Greenwich? Do you believe that every term of the contract is open to negotiation and if the negotiator was better salaries and benefits would be cut across the board? If you believe that, there is a place for you on the RTM and the BOE.

          • Art, the point is not to know the exact details of each concession necessarily, but as taxpayers, we’re certainly entitled to know, say, that the union wants a raise of 17% (suggested for illustration only) while the town’s offering 4%, pay for coaching at $100 per hour vs. town’s offer of $35, etc. Taxpayers are entitled to know how much of their money is at risk going in, so they can provide their elected representatives – their “public servants”, in theory – with feedback. This is not a privately held corporation, where the CEO and his minions make all decisions and let the shareholders know after the fact; it’s a small town, representative model government whose leaders have been temporarily granted limited powers to run the the town.

  8. Anonymous

    Totally agree Chris that the details should be made public. Obviously, your other responders don’t read the metro papers—because its widely written down to the last detail labor union issues such as the recent NY Met Opera union and management contract…..as well as so many other union contract disputes in play.

    This Town loves the backroom deal—and they can get it done because of the lazy RTM electorate. The checks and balances in this Town are a joke—and has been this way for a long time.

    • Art Layton

      All the details I read said there were negotiations over work rules and overtime – and that was disclosed AFTER the contract was signed.

      • Anonymous

        Art…you obviously missed the months of blow by blow reporting on the labor union impasse….all detailed in NY Times, Crains, Daily News…..you name it….and that’s just one union dispute example…..there are so many more. I wonder if you are on the RTM—you sound like you would fit in quite nicely with all those mushrooms who live happily in the dark.

        • Art Layton

          who cares what the musician’s union negotiated? And the ‘blow by blow” reporting was only what the two parties were willing to disclose. It was not open to the public.

  9. pulled up in OG

    “ . . . citing a need for confidentiality.”

    You mean like . . . Town Attorney John Wayne Fox . . . school board . . . Bart Palosz . . . “The Law Department has not publicly released a written report of its investigation.”