Teachers, GH schools reach tentative pact

A tentative deal has been reached between the Grand Haven school district and the local teachers union for a new two-year contract.
Krystle Wagner
Oct 18, 2012

 

Through months of negotiations, the two groups crafted a pact for the current and 2013-14 school years.

Grand Haven Education Association members will meet Oct. 29 for a ratification vote, said the union's president, Amy Cahalan. If the teachers vote in favor of the agreement, it will go before the Grand Haven school board for final approval.

The contract would impact about 373 educators.

Discussions have been going on since spring, said Scott Grimes, assistant superintendent of human services for Grand Haven Area Public Schools. He said more information would be released about the agreement when it's approved.

During negotiations, the union poured over the contract language because the state Legislature made some subjects prohibitive for bargaining, Cahalan said.

“We also faced some tough financial realities and had to be creative on ways that we could work together to save money for our community,” Cahalan said. “Fortunately, collective bargaining works, and we were able to come up with a fair deal, given our financial constraints.”
 

Comments

Vladtheimp

"Discussions have been going on since spring, said Scott Grimes, assistant superintendent of human services for Grand Haven Area Public Schools. He said more information would be released about the agreement when it's approved."

This is exactly the problem with public employee unions, and why it is so important for Ballot Proposal 2 to be defeated. The taxpayers will be on the hook for whatever is in the proposed contract, including salaries and benefits, but our representatives who are allegedly negotiating on our behalf won't publicize what is in the agreement until after it is improved. We might as well have Queen Pelosi negotiating with the school employees: "But we have to pass the bill [Obamacare] so that you can find out what is in it, away from the fog of the controversy." That worked out well. Democrats seem to have a problem with all kinds of fog, of late....

newspaperlawyer

If you want to keep beating up on the little guy then vote against prop 2... Why don't you ask the real question what the school administration is getting paid along with benefits. I never see see the GH tribune ever do report on what the administrations wage and benefit package includes... Like six figures, retirement %, health insurance cost, Rx % costs... It always the little guy you people want to bash... If you don't like the way the school board is ran... then run for the school board. But I'm sorry I'll be voting yes for Prop 2 and the Emergency Manager positions. The unions have nothing to do with NO money in the school districts... Its called corporate greed.. Remember GH TWP just voted for a new fire truck which could of been budgeted But The TWP was approved to spend $750,000.00 ... what happens some GH TWP Lt/ firefighter who works for the Seagraves Fire Equipment builder convinced the TWP board to go with the more expensive truck... so now they just grab additional $53,000 out of the general fund... This is really wrong.... and I see NO one finding issues with this situation because the firemen need a new truck... Well how about the teachers who spend hours after hours in the class room on the weekends not getting paid, or buying supplies for the children out of their own pocket... or even purchasing a winter coat, gloves and hat for a young child who comes to school with no proper winter clothing.... so I have NO problem with a little front line school teacher who is trying to pay off student loans from college, trying to start a new profession instructing our future little people, and the teacher who still needs to live at home with their parents cause they can't afford to rent or buy a home due to low wages and now paying huge increases in benefit costs which was not included in the original wage structure... They are people who should be making the big bucks...

Vladtheimp

1. If you look at the wages and benefits of school teachers they are hardly the "little guy" - for the most part the "little guy" is the one paying for those wages and benefits; (2) I don't disagree at all with your point at looking closely at the pay and benefits of the school administrators; (3) don't disagree at all with your point of budgeting for costs like the new fire truck; (4) disagree completely with voting for Prop 2 - if you're so worried about how local government is run, realize that under Prop 2 public employee unions would be empowered to overrule and repeal actual legislation of local, municipal and state legislatures - this is insane, especially given, as I noted, that taxpayers have no clue what is in public employee bargaining until they have been approved. This is the language in the proposal: Invalidate existing or future state or local laws that limit the ability to join unions and bargain collectively, and to negotiate and enforce collective bargaining agreements, including employees’ financial support of their labor unions. Laws may be enacted to prohibit public employees from striking.
Override state laws that regulate hours and conditions of employment to the extent that those laws conflict with collective bargaining agreements.
If you don't like taxes and spending by local officials (like the fire truck and the firefighter working for Seagraves, how do you think you'll like local governments being handcuffed by unelected public employee union members making the decisions?

Tri-cities realist

Ditto Vlad.

twpresident

newspaperlawyer, you need to let go of this fire truck issue. You are just a disgruntled ex twp firefighter who is mad at everyone at the fire department becuase you lost your job becuase you could no longer pass the required physical fitness (agility) test and had to leave. GET OVER IT! Stop bringing up the fire truck on every article that has nothing to do with this purchase. It has been already been purchased and you feel the need to try to discredit the twp in order to serve your desire to bash the fire chief and officers of the department becuase you are no longer a member. You are spreading lies and mis-information all over. The lieutenant you are refering to has NEVER worked for Seagrave. He worked for a company in Grand Rapids that sold Seagrave as well as several other fire apparatus companies products and he has not even worked there since 2009. You need to get a life and move on...............

newspaperlawyer

Maybe you should get a hold of a public service contract... Buddy the employers hands are not tied... The only thing that collective bargaining does is bring the administration to the table to bargain in good faith... If the administration is agreeing to wages or benefits which they can not pay for then , then they need to be fired... Retirements are mostly paid for by the employee's Most governmental agencies are covered under Municipal Retirement System... They have the money in the accts to pay retirements.. Its the State retirement system which does not... that due to the fact that our lovely reps and congressman and administration have taken the money out of those accounts and used it for other things... so now the money is not available. Well its not the little problem... its the people you voted or was hired to administrate the funds... SO I guess your vote will just knock out my vote... But I'm thinking their is a lot of collective bargaining employee's voting...

Vladtheimp

Buddy, guess we'll cancel out each other's vote, but I'm thinking there are a lot of taxpayers out there who don't want to see this type of measure in the constitution, that will effectively tie their hands from changing government. "Retirements are mostly paid for by the employee's?" Not hardly. "Most governmental agencies are covered under Municipal Retirement System... They have the money in the accts to pay retirements." Tell that to municipalities who have to cut back on services to fund public employee pensions - see California, which is where Prop 2 is taking us. " Its the State retirement system which does not" Who do you think is pushing for Prop 2 - employee unions representing State employees - so you think we will be immune from higher taxes to fund the benefits of State employees?

newspaperlawyer

Well I don't know who you work for or did work for... but you are wrong on this one... See its the administration that has used the money from the retirement banks for special projects and figure the money would be there from the all the money that was placed in the stock market... just like anyone who put money in the stock market or tax shelter for pension reason... WE ALL LOST THE MONEY... but Its not the employee's fault for the administration taking the money out of the pension accounts and using that money on pet projects or funding projects that they did not have the money for... How do you think the City of GH got the waterfront area... The City Manager used the city employees pension fund to do several of the projects on the water front... Due to that fact... The city employees then got on board with the MERS retirement service so that money could not be touched... See I remember when my parents for the local government... they got should low wages.. so they did not pay into social security... like most cops and firemen did not... So due to that fact they do not get any social security at all... So the only thing they have was a government retirement. These people want you to believe its the little guys fault for all of the pension problems... well I don't agree with that... It's the people you voted into office.. the school board... the city councils... If they did not have the money to cover these cost... shame on them... So I'm think that you would be fit to run for school board... or maybe you are like me don't pay school taxes any longer... or maybe you chose the wrong profession to not have a labor agreement.. or maybe you are the administration from a non union shop...

twpresident

newspaperlawyer, are you having a stroke or something? I'm starting to get concerned... perhaps you should call 911 becuase all of your rambling in this article sounds like you would have a hard time adding up 2 + 2 right now. Good grief. I don't know why anyone would believe a word you say when you constantly discredit yourself by spewing false information. Isn't it time for you to get off the tribune's website and go pick up the kids on your bus route. Better hurry, you don't want to be late.

newspaperlawyer

So what is false in the comments.... You seem to always throw twist on the venues...

Vladtheimp

Chubby Checker reference?

Vladtheimp

I think you need to go back to my first comment. You're a hard guy to agree with.

Tri-cities realist

Teachers are the "little guys", I had to laugh at that one. According to http://m.teacherportal.com/salar..., in michigan, "New teachers make an average starting salary of $47,440 and an average overall salary of $63,940" not bad for 9-10 months of work with generous holiday breaks. Now I don't know how accurate the numbers are, but I suspect pretty accurate. So if they choose to continue to work in the summer, a new teacher can make $55-60k, which should be enough for them to move out of their parents' home and pay off their student loans, if they live within their means (don't buy a new $30k car, and $200,000 home just because you were approved for it). Now I realize teachers aren't likely to become extremely wealthy, but I thought most didn't enter the teaching profession because of the pay. I respect and admire teachers, and the difficult job they have. And I think their salaries are sufficient for them to provide a good life for their families. I don't know any teachers in the area that are homeless or relying on the food pantries. If they exist, I'm sure someone will counter my anecdotal evidence.

PeopleAreAmazing

Ditto Ditto. Down with 2!

Vladtheimp

I was prepared to vote against all of the ballot proposals, but given the seeming support for Prop 2, I would recommend everyone voting in favor of Prop 5 - requiring a supermajority to raise taxes. This at least would be a constitutional antidote to the insanity of Prop 2, and maybe 4.

shellyjasi

Sound is not so good! I hope the members of the 'Grand Haven Education Association' will present their basic demand for the benefits of the students as well as the entire education system otherwise this deal will create a conflict with their students. Good luck for all.
duffle coat

 

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