Should we be praising Jackie Doherty instead of smacking her around for releasing privileged information? Was this necessary to do and the only way a contract could get settled?
By revealing confidential information about contract negotiations, did Jackie Doherty force the Union’s hand and pressure them into accepting a contract before the Election?
Or did she force the School Committee to weaken some of its demands and try to save some face and gain some political capital by settling a contract weeks before the election?
You have to wonder based on the timetable and events that played out if perhaps by Jackie violating the agreed upon rules of Executive Session that she forced either or both parties to come to a quick agreement and move on and away from this issue.
Did the stories circulating that most union members were unaware of the contract offer of 3% until Jackie leaked prove true and empower the rank and file teachers to apply pressure to the Union to agree to a deal?
The same could also be questioned of the School Committee who provided the raise along with additional funding in step levels (reportedly an additional $100,000 cost) and may have capitulated on the requirement to drop grievances along with the length of the contract. Where they trying to save face and get some positive Political Capital by agreeing to a contract and resolving this issue before Election Day?
Unbelievably this contract expires at the end of June 2012 so the whole long drawn out process begins anew in January. Since the complete agreement hasn’t been released as of yet (sshh we can’t tell anyone the details until the entire Union first see’s it and approves it, Executive session you know!) we don’t know the exact details or amount.
I thought Connie Martin indicated this morning on WCAP that is would be 1.5% now and another 1.5% on the 91st day along with the Step increases but I could be mistaken. That would be the 3% Jackie referred to.
What is unclear is the “Language” issues and extra time by the teachers for parent conferences and such but since no one is NOW talking specifics and complete details, we may have to wait for the Union to ratify.
Also interesting to note in this new age media time that we live in, the settlement was announced by the Lowell School Committee on FACEBOOK! Not the local newspaper, radio or blogs. Guess that shows the importance of new age media and Facebook friending your current school committee members if you want the latest news.
So should we all hail Jackie Doherty for releasing confidential information and applying pressure to both sides to get a contract done?
What message are we sending to students, parents, voters and unions? That by breaking confidential agreements things get done quicker? That the only way to get things done is to leak information and if you get caught, say your sorry and all is forgiven?
Maybe we’ll all know better what message we sent on November 8th!