Thompson Board Stands Firm on Bad Contract; Union Backers Go Haywire

Yesterday I prepped you for the big vote and showdown at last night’s Thompson school board meeting on whether to accept the proposed union contract update. I told you it could go one of two ways: Either the return to the drawing board 1) resulted in some reasonable solutions to board director concerns that could be adopted, or 2) the board would take the historic step of rejecting the contract.

In case you haven’t heard, the city of Loveland witnessed Option #2 unfold. By a vote of 4-3, the union contract failed again. By collaborating to ignore nearly all the concerns raised, union leaders and district bureaucrats effectively dared the school board to stand firm or fail. The Reporter-Herald‘s Pamela Johnson quoted remarks from most of the board members, including president Bob Kerrigan:

“I don’t accept where this is at,” Kerrigan said. “I don’t believe this is innovative at all. I’m looking for things that are going change what this district is going to do.

“Graduation rates are down. Our third-grade reading is down. We have struggled. We’ve got to change. We can’t continue down this path and expect things to change.”

The union Memorandum of Understanding (MOU) is set to expire on June 30. Johnson notes that it’s unclear what happens next.

Complete Colorado reporter Sherrie Peif digs deeper into the ambiguity. There is some indication that the process could continue into mediation, but it well may be the board would have to vote to approve that as well.

Interestingly, Peif brings a couple key overlooked facts to light. First, the rally held before the meeting was directed by none other than CEA president Kerrie “All Teachers Do the Same Job” Dallman:

At least yesterday’s protest was related to education and not fast food. Not surprising, though, since Complete Colorado earlier reported that CEA was behind the April petition to the Thompson school board urging them to “reconsider” their proposed changes to the district’s MOU.

(Interestingly, one of the pro-union board members dismissed half of the pro-reform messages she received from the community as being “fake” — without providing any evidence to support her claim.)

In her latest story, Peif also captured audio of the deranged and immature reaction that ensued when the board voted to reject the status quo MOU:

Kerrigan, Rice, Carlson, and Langner sat quietly and said nothing while, one after another, teachers, parents and fellow board members attacked them with negative comments. Audience members compared Kerrigan, who called for innovation in the contract, to Adolph Hitler, and shouted “Long live the king.”

Hitler? Seriously… Hitler??? He was a really, really, really bad guy who lived a long time ago, my Gramps says, shaking his head in disbelief. Time to invoke Godwin’s Law and move on.

As for the serious adults in the conversation, it’s time to focus on moving forward without a union contract (140 Colorado school districts do it, you know) while continuing the conversation with teachers and looking for ways to reward great instruction.