Painters … pipefitters … principals?

Why does it bother me so much to see principals on this list?

6 Responses to “Painters … pipefitters … principals?”

  1. Are you saying that principals or vice-principals shouldn’t be protected by labor agreements? Remember, they do not hold the keys to the kingdom and have to answer to the superintendent or some director within the district just like teachers. Also, they are held accountable for student learning results just like classroom teachers.

    Maybe I’m reading too much into your post.

  2. I’m unsure why it bothers you, but it appears that those are contracts of every represented (by some organization) employee group in the St. Paul Schools. In an institution of that size, it does not surprise me. It would be unusual in a small size district.

    Neither condition (union -vs- non-union) colors my perception of the people or the organization itself, but it does look unusual to see the labor agreements in the same space as bricklayers.


  3. I’m really disappointed to see principals on this LOOOONG list of unions the St. Paul schools must negotiatate with. I’m furter dismayed to see the number of groups the district has to sit at the table with. And we wonder why we can’t get the laser focus on effective instruction and assessment needed to compete globally?! Schools have finite resources, and we’re using too many of them in areas that aren’t impacting student learning. I’m still waiting to see the research that shows collective bargaining with teachers improves student achievement.

  4. I am much more bothered by states/systems that post salaries of teachers online – BY FIRST AND LAST NAMES.

  5. It bothers me also. I am having trouble verbalizing why.

    I have a contract that defines my employment expectations. Contract days, vacation days, membership dues…many of the things in the St. Paul agreement. I am not protected by my contract nearly as well as any unionized employee. Frankly, I don’t want to be. I work until the job is done. If it is not done well, then I deserve to be questioned.

    I serve at the will of the Superintendent. Ultimately, I do my job well or I get another job. I learn on my own time, work a ton of hours each week and feel like a professional.

    Am I getting taken advantage of? Maybe. Am I paid fairly for the expectations of the job? I think so. Do I need a cafeteria benefits plan in my contract? No, I can afford to buy my own lunch, because there is no such thing as a free lunch.

  6. It bothers me because principals are managerial employees and thus excepted from most educational labor relations acts. For instance see the Illinois Labor Relations Act: 115 ILCS 5/2(b).

    Even the Minnesota Public Employment Labor Relations Act seems to exclude managerial employees and confidential employees. See section 179A.10. I am guessing the St. Paul principals define themselves as neither, but that seems a hard sell to me. Looking further down that statute, Minnesota has a distinct category for “supervisory” employees as a separate bargaining unit. That must be what these principals are falling under but many states include “supervisory” along with managerial and confidential in the exclusions since the tasks of each of those jobs overlap.

    Anyway, I don’t like it either. You essentially have members of one bargaining unit making employment decisions for members of other bargaining units. You could have a competition amongst bargaining units with one bargaining unit holding all the cards. That is sort of a bad recipe.

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