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SchoolWatch

  

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           The Red and White Ribbon Campaign            

 

The Red and White Ribbon Campaign is meant to express the East Islip School District community’s solidarity as we stand UNITED in asking the Teachers’ Union to make valid concessions for the kids.

 

It is our belief that it is critical to the good of students to bring transparency to collective bargaining, and focus public attention on the role of teacher contracts in education. We hope to sustain public discourse about how to improve our schools – and keep the focus on our students.

 

We know that good education takes place locally in classrooms – and we know how hard many teachers are working. Our commentary is emphatically not a criticism of teachers. We are focused on the contracts – the delivery system of our schools – that fail to reward high-performing teachers, fail to recognize their professionalism, and surely, are not focused on students.

 

We have heard union leaders say, “The union and the teachers are one and the same.” We disagree. Teachers are not the union. Teachers are professionals in classrooms where teaching and learning takes place. Unions are big-business associations that receive union dues – whether or not the teachers believe in the unions’ positions and representation. The unions are focused on their own economic interests, on membership and membership outcomes – not students!

 

The requested Teachers’ Union concessions “short list” are as follows:

 

  • A two (2) year wage freeze
  • A two (2) year contract term with a sunset clause
  • Contributions of  between 25% to 50% toward medical benefits
  • Eliminate the Welfare Trust Fund

 

Wearing or displaying the red and white ribbon is a simple way to show your support for a united East Islip School District community supporting its kids.  Place them on your mail boxes, light posts, entry ways, cars, bicycles, backpacks, dogs, cats, etc…

 

Wear or display a red and white ribbon to symbolize hope.

 

Wear or display a red and white ribbon to signify your faith in the future of our community’s ability to thrive and prosper.

 

Note: We respect and support the teachers of our community. However, the benefits that have been negotiated in the past, for whatever reason, are excessive and not sustainable. If teachers feel maligned, that is not because the public has begun to raise questions about teacher contracts. In truth, the patience of citizens is wearing thin because of the positions taken by the some union leaders – especially their inflexible opposition to reducing excessive entitlements, and their refusal to think about shifting spending to better help students. It is this inflexibility that gives the public a false impression about teachers: that they care mostly about salary and benefits, rather than helping their students. Moreover, the public is tired of seeing citizens maligned by union leaders for trying to raise perfectly valid and civic-minded questions about how public dollars are being spent. We need a serious discussion about how to improve our schools, and reorient the focus to students, with ALL the stakeholders taking part. We urge teachers’ union leaders to join in that discussion constructively and positively, instead of reflexively opposing it!

 

Sincerely,

SchoolWatch 

                                                                        

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