I don’t go to Little League and other kid league sports. When they were little, my own kids had interests other than playing sports. I hear that there is a problem with parents on the sidelines getting too involved. They yell at the volunteer coaches and get into fights with the refs.
The Chicago Teachers Union has been without a contract for over a year. The CPS board has finally decided to start real bargaining and presented an offer. There is no deal yet.
That there is no deal hasn’t prevented those on the sidelines from jumping in with their opinions – all on the basis of CPS-leaked reports to the press.
I’m not referring to teachers covered by the collective bargaining agreement. I mean from those that aren’t covered by it and haven’t seen the offer.
I posted on Facebook yesterday:
Of course it is true that what happens as a result of the contract negotiations between the CTU and CPS will have an impact beyond the members of the CTU. But I have always felt, and still feel, that it primarily important to the members who must live and work with it. It belongs to them and to the board. I don’t think it is helpful to the good and decent people who sit on the bargaining team, nor is it helpful to the members who are actually covered by the collective bargaining agreement, to have those who aren’t covered by it be the first to jump out with their opinions, particularly when the bargaining isn’t done yet.
I bargained many union contracts.
Rich was a good friend and a colleague. He never saw a contract he approved of. He voted against every offer the board ever made. It was never good enough. I always laughed when we talked about it. Rich figured that if the contract was good enough for most people it would get approved in spite of his no vote. And if enough people were unhappy, his no vote would help. I always thought it wasn’t such a bad idea to get no votes even on the best deal we could get. It made the board a little worried. And it didn’t hurt to keep those of us who bargained a little worried too.
But Rich was part of our bargaining unit. The contract belonged to Rich. He had to work with the conditions and for the compensation we bargained. In the end, he owned it.
As for the sideline critics? They have no standing here.