TENIG President Mary Minicozzi delivers statement of pride and commitment to TE School Board

At the T/E School Board meeting last night, the public comment section offered several interesting remarks from TESD residents.  Representing her Brookmead neighborhood, Rosemary Kait expressed disappointment to the Board for the lack of notification that the tennis courts at Valley Forge Elementary School will be razed on Saturday, March 23.  According to Kait, adjacent neighbors were received very late notification of the demolition plans via an email from TESD Business Manager Art McDonnell yesterday.  Although Kait, stated that following her comments to the School Board, she was headed to Board of Supervisors meeting last night, it is doubtful that the process will be stopped.

According to TE Patch, the School District states that there are two reasons for the demolition — “… the township will no longer maintain the courts, and the permeable ground that will replace the courts will offset new parking spaces at the school.”  Apparently, the removal of the tennis courts was part of the District’s 2008 parking study.  I was at the School Board meeting, so if someone has further information from BOS meeting, please update.

Tredyffrin resident Scott Dorsey had a couple of questions for the School Board.  He stated that as a minister he was associated with various nonprofits and asked about the letter that the District is sending out to tax-exempt organizations.  Dorsey wanted to understand what kind of documentation would be required by the organizations.  School Board member Betsy Fadem reiterated that there are 300 tax-exempt property owners in Tredyffrin and Easttown Townships and that the  questionnaire is to determine whether these organizations still qualify for that status or should they be paying property taxes.

Although the possible tax savings according to Fadem was again stated as $1.6 million in Tredyffrin and $920,000 in Easttown, those numbers seem very high to me.  I understand that the District has financial needs, but what is the price tag for goodwill of nonprofits?  Even if a nonprofit qualifies for exemption under the District’s rubric, just fulfilling the requirements of the questionnaire is certain to cause a degree of angst (and possible legal expense) to nonprofits.  As someone directly associated with one of the nonprofits on the list, I know firsthand the level of anxiety the Board’s actions have caused.

The second question that Mr. Dorsey had for the School Board had to do with consent agenda process.  He wanted to understand how an item could be removed from a consent agenda.  Board president Kevin Buraks explained that it is generally unnecessary to hold discussion on consent agenda items but if a Board member wants to hold discussion, they can ask for the item to be removed from the consent agenda (and it will then be removed).  Alternatively, a Board member may also vote against or abstain with respect to the consent agenda without having asked it to be removed.

Although Dorsey did not say why he was asking the question,  it should be noted that at the February School Board meeting, Board members Anne Crowley and Rich Brake voted against the consent agenda, stating transparency issues because there was no discussion on the administrator pay increase included in the consent agenda.  As an aside, Scott Dorsey is challenging Rich Brake for TESD Region II.

The most poignant and powerful statement came from Mary Minicozzi, the new TENIG president.  Beyond the words that she read, was the passion for TESD as she expressed her commitment, and the commitment of all TENIG employees to the children of this District.  A paycheck doesn’t buy that level of devotion … the dedication of Minicozzi to and her fellow TENIG members is not easily replaced.  Most of TENIG don’t just work in the District, this is their home — most are taxpayers, many with children in the School District.  How do you balance any perceived cost savings from outsourcing against the pride, commitment and dedication of TENIG employees?  Here is Mary Minicozzi’s statement from last night:

TESD School Board Meeting, March 18, 2013
Mary Minicozzi, TENIG President
Statement

My name is Mary Minicozzi and I am the new TENIG President.  I am a taxpayer and a parent of 3 children that graduated from Conestoga High School. I would like to speak today regarding outsourcing the TENIG Employees.

TENIG employees consist of custodians, maintenance, secretaries, cafeteria and security staff.  There are more than 150 TENIG employees and all of us will be fired when you outsource our jobs.  Our families, our children and our livelihoods will all be adversely affected by your decision.  Please take a moment and think about the 100’s of people your decision will hurt.  And nearly all of these people, like me, have lived in T/E their entire lives and their kids live here, their parents live here and all of us contribute to make this community the great place it is.

Outsourcing for the T/E Schools is flat out dangerous.  How can you justify bringing strangers into our schools to watch over our children, support our teachers and advocate for parents.  While we are trying to secure the outside of our buildings, with security cameras and ballistic film on our windows, we are considering putting strangers inside our schools.

The students lives are worth much, much more than that. Actually a child’s safety and a parent’s piece of mind are priceless. It is a fact that outside corporation’s highest priority is making money.  They are not in the business of protecting our precious children. Please reconsider this dangerous method of cutting cost.

I would like to end with an experience I had several years ago when I was an elementary school secretary.

We had a fire in our Art classroom.  The fire alarm went off.  The Art teacher called me to tell me the kiln was on fire.  I made an announcement to evacuate the building.  I called 911 and notified the custodian who immediately went to the Art classroom to put out the fire.

After calling 911, I called Dr. Waters.  Within 3 minutes, maintenance workers from the District were at the school.  There was no principal in the building at the time of the fire.  I was responsible until administration arrived at the school.    My utmost priority was keeping your children safe.  Maintenance workers surrounded the building checking every area in the school to make sure all children were safely out of the building.

I  never left the building!  I stayed by the phone and answered every parent phone call.  Parents were so concerned and I was there for them to let them know their children were safe.

As you can tell by the story I just told: It was the Custodian, The Maintenance Worker and the Secretary (ALL TENIG EMPLOYEES) who alongside our teachers ensured all your children were safe.

Do you think this same scenario would have occurred if these positions were outsourced?  We are a critical piece to this wonderful school District. I am so very proud of that, my colleagues are proud of that and parents and community members talk with pride about T/E schools.

Are you prepared to look into our parents eyes and say, I promise you, I guarantee you safety will be exactly the same after you outsource TENIG.

In the past 3 years, TENIG has worked to help the District save money (even though that savings was the paid out to other employees in bonuses and pay raises.  We have sacrificed to keep our jobs and keep our schools secure.  Despite the sacrifices we have made in support of our fantastic district, we are now being threatened with being fired.

I hope that each school board member will seriously do their due diligence and consider the hundreds and hundreds of families that will be affected by your decisions.

Thank You.

 

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  1. “Do you think this same scenario would have occurred if these positions were outsourced?”

    The innuendo is that TENIG employees stand their ground during a fire or other emergency, but contracted workers would run from the building without regard for the safety of the children. That’s absurd.

    I sympathize with the situation of the TENIG workers, but health care and pension costs are killing the T/E community, the teachers have their collective bargaining agreement, and that leaves TENIG employees in the unfortunate crosshairs. But if it comes down to outsourcing functions versus furloughing teachers or cutting programs, my guess is that outsourcing is the lesser undesirable course to many T/E residents.

    [Reply]

    Pattye Benson Reply:

    MA, Thanks for your comment and to follow-up,the District is spending $250K for safety upgrades plus additional cost of hiring Andy Chambers as a safety expert. As it relates to school safety, do you not see outsourcing of TENIG support staff as counter to these decisions?

    [Reply]

    CP Reply:

    Pattye – I think it is a stretch to relate your comment to Mad Anthony’s. Outsourcing will not bring robots into our schools. They will be mothers and fathers and possibly the same TENIG people who are in our schools today. I would hope that the school district can interview the employees of the Outsourcing companies prior to their first day of work and have the final say on placement.

    [Reply]

    Pattye Benson Reply:

    I would not think that the District would “interview the employees of the Outsourcing companies” — seems to me it would work like the bus driver outsourcing. There would be a signed contract with the outsourcing company but it would be up to the company for the management and oversight of their employees, including police background checks, etc. Certainly, there would be an expectation that the outsourcing company would adhere to certain guidelines as set forth by the District. For instance, if there is a problem with a bus driver, my guess is that the situation is reported to the District and then the designated person from the District contacts the bus company in regards to the issue, not the bus driver directly. Someone correct me if I’m wrong, but the contract is written between the District and the outsourcing company, not the outsourcing employees.

    Mad Anthony Reply:

    This post isnt really about the safety upgrades or hiring Mr. Chambers, but since you ask . . .

    Seems to me the district went through this exercise following the Columbine atrocity. Not sure we are going to learn anything new in the present exercise post Newtown. But every community, I suppose, feels they need to hire another consultant following each new atrocity. If there were any security upgrades needed prior to Newtown, I would have expected then chief Chambers to have weighed in on it then. Just my two cents.

    Mad Anthony

    [Reply]

    Cowardly Anon Reply:

    Did not go through it post Columbine. Beefed up the District Safety Committee. I think they may have hired someone post Va. Tech, but specifically NOT post Columbine.

  2. It must be TESD Demo Week ..the last remaining house on Old Lancaster RD is being torn down this weekend too.
    ..VFES is getting a parking lot addition ..we might be getting a storage building and a multimillion dollar maintenance facility … which will be really useless if they outsource everyone.

    [Reply]

  3. John,
    On virtually every publication that came out last year, Conestoga High School was the highest rated public school on the list.

    In what way are you evaluating a non-interest in the educational level of the school district. Say what you want about policies, procedures, politics and etc. But given the results of the schools, the comparative testing, college acceptance and long term success of the students who come out of our schools, I think they are definitely interested in and vested in the education.

    [Reply]

  4. I concur with CJ.

    Say what you want about property strategy, or lack thereof. But the schools do educate the T/E students better than almost all other districts in the state.

    M.A.

    [Reply]

  5. 1) Do we know the actual numbers on how many TENIG employees do live within the district and how many there are total? I keep seeing references to “many” and “most” but have never seen any numbers.

    2) In looking at their contract, especially with benefits, they do seem to be a very well compensated group in comparison to their private sector counterparts. Yes, they’ve taken hits over the past few years to avoid the outsourcing. Has there been any talk of a leveling of the field with them? Changing the structure of their overall compensation to perhaps still provide a premium to private sector and retain our dedication, but saving the district much of the savings of an outsourcing proposal?

    As much as nobody wants to be told their job next year will be at a new, much lesser overall compensation, I would think it’s a conversation worth having. Maybe it’s being had – I just haven’t read anything about it. It seems like the SB is simply saying the options are to keep status quo or outsource. I’d think there could be a middle ground.

    3) In other districts, aides are part of the non-instructional union. I have not seen mention of this in T/E. Is it correct that aides are not part of this agreement?

    [Reply]

    Pattye Benson Reply:

    Grant, there are spprox. 170 TENIG employees and 130 non-TENIG aides and paraeducators — all 300 jobs are under consideration for outsourcing. I agree there should be a middle ground – open and honest discussion between SB and the 300 workers before the threat of outsourcing. I know the majority of TENIG members are either TESD residents or they havr a connection to the District, such as TE graduate.

    [Reply]

    Grant Reply:

    Thanks Pattye.

    If the aides are non-TENIG and per SupportStaff below, they don’t get benefits, why are they part of the same discussion – I would think their compensation is much more in line, no?

    [Reply]

    SupportStaff Reply:

    Also, the Food and Nutrition Services is totally self-sustaining. That is, all the money that is raised from selling lunches and snacks pays for all the kitchen workers salaries, benefits, retirement contributions, etc. including the director and his secretary. I don’t know why they are trying to fix something that’s not broken.

    SupportStaff Reply:

    Please also keep in mind that aides do not receive benefits and the majority of the kichen workers do not receive benefits. As full-time kitchen workers retire, they are being replaced with part-timers so as not to have to pay them benefits. I can go along with changing the compensation structure re:health benefits, but then let’s change that for ALL district employees, including teachers, and not just pick the little guys pocket. The SB is taking from those who can least afford it.

    [Reply]

    Grant Reply:

    I agree to an extent, but I think there is a difference in that teachers are being paid competitively against their options to teach in other similar districts. However, I are many opportunities for the similar roles the TENIG fills that are competitive from an overall compensation standpoint in the private sector? Maybe I’m wrong, but I assumed not?

    The teacher’s comp package is for another debate, but I agree there should be big changes – but maybe not in the same way others feel. I think the starting salaries need to come down in a big way, and that will provide a reset for the rest, but I do agree that a teacher who is at the top of their field should have an opportunity to earn a six-figure salary. Notice I said “a teacher at the top of their field”…not one who’s simply been there for 30 years and has a PhD. We measure their value all wrong, and frankly I doubt they appreciate being herded like cattle through a payscale either.

    I don’t have the answers, but those of us who have been through the district or have kids in the district can likely attest that not all teachers are nearly equal in value and that in plenty of cases a teacher with five years experience provides a learning opportunity light years beyond others regardless of experience. But, I don’t know how you fry that fish.

    [Reply]

    Cowardly Anon Reply:

    Grant
    They may not all appreciate it, but they are in a union and due to the requirement that they pay dues, they get what they get. People who collectively bargain for their services have to accept that good and bad get treated the same….Good teachers are like good parents….they have no idea how bad the bad ones are.

    flyersfan Reply:

    Word is all aldes and secretaries will be outsourced. Some may lose their accrued retirement if less than 5 years employed. Employees will be given opp to regain their positions, at a salary reduced from 13 per hr to 9. (for aides), There will be either a) a shortage of aides, or b) a whole new slate of aides at 9 per hr. Should be interesting. Again this is info Im hearing with my ear to the ground. Secretaries? These ladies RUN the schools.. WOnder how their replacements will function, at a lower rate..By the way, outsourced aides will NO LONGER HAVE a PENSION . thats over. Think crate and barrel position looks more inviting.. lets see how this shakes out. NOTHING has been officially decided, but beware….

    [Reply]

    flyersfan Reply:

    yes John, this is what is being talked about by the aides in the schools. Again, this is preliminary as to what these employees are hearing at the school so the end game is still to be reached. But it doesnt look good.. and I agree about all you said. Looking at that list of administrators it occurred to me that it seems we have a lot of administrators. Tennis anyone?

    Anon2 Reply:

    It’s all just happening here???
    http://towardfreedom.com/globalism/2713-the-apple-connection-globalization-and-outsourcing

    If the teacher’s union would let TESD outsource (online learning) they would need more aides and could pay better. We are the ones who commoditize labor.

    Supply and Demand…is this that new a concept? And to be accurate — “the word is” is predictive? or speculative? or real?

    flyersfan Reply:

    Grant, Aides are NOT part of the TENIG aggreements. They receive no health insurance, and frankly for some, a meager hourly wage not commensurate with their function as classroom aides, handling special needs kids, etc.

    [Reply]

    Keith Knauss Reply:

    flyersfan,
    .
    Can you point me to any document that says, “They receive no health insurance”?
    .
    Most districts including UCF provide health insurance to all employees that work more than 30 hours per week. It would be unusual for TE to deny healthcare benefits to aides.

    [Reply]

    flyersfan Reply:

    my wife is an aide. No insurance

    Cowardly Anon Reply:

    Aides typically work less than 30 hours a week….after all — school is only open slightly more than that. Teachers teach about 225 minutes a day on average.

    It is not a generalization meant to diminish their contribution, but many Aides in 2013 are modern day parent volunteers with a paycheck. Many elementary volunteers end up with jobs at the upper levels. People just cannot afford to give their time away.

    flyersfan Reply:

    there are different levels in function of aides. Some have closer contact with students. Others don’t. I don’t want to go into the resume of my wife, but suffice it to say she was a teacher back in the day and got back into education as our kids grew older and out of the house. She didn’t want to “teach” but wanted to participate in some way in schools.
    She is grossly underpaid for her resume and for what she actually does in the classroom. It is true she took this job with this understanding. I am not sure how many hours she works, suffice it to say she works probably 7.5 -8 hrs per day 5 days a week. Other districts, as I am aware, pay their aides better and offer health ins.

    flyersfan Reply:

    32.5 hrs week

    Keith Knauss Reply:

    Thanks for the info. I’ve got a RTK request into TE asking for salary and benefit documentation for aides. I just got a reply invoking the 30 day extension for a reply. I imagine this is because they can’t reply within the normal 5 day limit because most of the administration is on vacation this week.

    flyersfan Reply:

    keith any info from RTK about aides salaries and benefits?

    Keith Knauss Reply:

    Nothing yet. I’ll post something after the 30 days expires.

    flyersfan Reply:

    Thanks Keith!

    Keith Knauss Reply:

    I just received the reply to my RTK request from the business manager.
    .
    I asked for:
    1) The record(s) containing the salary scale used for all non-unionized support staff (e.g. teaching aides, food preparation staff) for the current year
    2) The record(s) describing the benefits of all non-unionized support staff (e.g. teaching aides, food preparation staff) for the current year
    .
    The business manager supplied a page out of the June 14, 2012 board minutes where the hourly rates were listed to satisfy item #1. http://www.tesd.net/cms/lib/PA01001259/Centricity/…/56/June14webmin.pdf
    .
    Item #2 was not supplied because “The documents do not exist in School District records”.
    .
    I find it difficult to believe that TESD does not have a document describing sick days, vacation days, disability insurance, life insurance, jury duty, health insurance, etc. Flyersfan, how does your wife know about her benefits? Or do all non-unionized employees really go without benefits?

    Pattye Benson Reply:

    Keith, Is it possible that all non-unionized support staff is part-time and that’s the reason that they do not receive benefits? I think that the rationale behind the talk of outsourcing the aides and paraeducators is that come January 2014,(due to Obamacare) anyone working 30+ hours must receive healthcare benefits. The kitchen staff is part of the TENIG union — it may only be the aides and paraeducators who are non-union employees. I’m curious, does UCF have non-unionized staff? And if so, do they receive benefits?

    Keith Knauss Reply:

    From what I surmise from Flyersfan and from the business manager’s response to my RTK request, the non-unionized support staff is entitled to no benefits. There is no law requiring benefits (that will change slightly with ACA Obamacare), but I’m surprised that TE does not supply any of them – healthcare, sick days, personal days, disability, life insurance.
    .
    I can understand the lack of benefits for true part-time or substitute employees, but there are employees working more than 30 hours who, I guess, receive no benefits. Why don’t they join the TENIG where full-time is defined as >25 hours per week?
    .
    None of UCF’s 250+ support employees are unionized. Most are full-time. All full-time (>30 hours per week) support employees are entitled to the standard benefits mentioned above.

    Keith Knauss Reply:

    John,
    As I’ve said many times before, I learn from the actions of other districts. I’ve asked for public documents from Downingtown, Rosetree, Central Bucks, Pennsbury, West Chester, Avon Grove, Great Valley and a host of others. And lest you think I’ve treated my own district with kid gloves, I’ve filed over a dozen RTK request with UCF. Several have gone to the Office of Open Records and two have gone to CC Common Pleas Court.
    .
    With this recent RTK request I think I’ve learned why TE has unionized support staff and UCF doesn’t.

  6. Tredyffrin’s Karl Rove or merely one angry man with many strong opinions?

    John, you demand that public officials and those who seek office make false, over-simplified choices. Your choice or failure is certain. Meanwhile, you sit on the sidelines taking shots, pontificating on all things political, municipal and educational, issuing ultimatums, questioning people’s character.

    Pardon me while I take your voluminous opinions with a grain of salt.

    I’m not saying you’re not entitled to them. Nor am I suggesting they are not sincere. As a former appointed Twp official, as a parent with children in T/E schools, your personal perspective is valuable.

    However, after taking a break from CM, you have returned with a vengeance, implying daily that you have a perfect handle on all the issues , so CM readers should take notice when you “urge” candidates to act on your advice.

    That takes real chutzpah! But I feel certain CM readers will be evaluating candidates and from a much broader perspective. Your megaphone will only carry so far.

    [Reply]

  7. For those of us in attendance at January 28 TESD meeting, there was some confusion about the consent agenda procedure. Some of us had reviewed the agenda in advance and noted that administrator pay increase was contained in the consent agenda along with the more routine items such as approval of meeting minutes, etc. Because there questions about the administrator pay increases, Ray Clarke asked the Buraks if we could have a discussion about it and was told that the discussion would occur after the vote. Now reading your comment John, if I understand correctly, Ray and anyone else with a question about the administrator raises or anything else contained in a consent agenda, should have expected discussion before the vote not afterwards.

    Here is what is listed on the TESD agenda in regards to consent agenda items:

    “Although Board action is required, it is generally unnecessary to hold discussion on these items. With the consent of all members, they are therefore grouped and approval is given in one motion. In the event a Board member wants to discuss any item, the Board President will move it to an appropriate place on the agenda. A Board member may vote nay or abstain with respect to a consent agenda item without the need for removing the item from the consent agenda.”

    [Reply]

  8. I am not a fan of consent agendas. In the wrong hands, this tool could lead to miss-use and abuse — even if wielded by an honest, but naive person. In this case, the administrator pay increase passes through without any public discussion.

    [Reply]

  9. The Philly HS is a magnet school who only admit and test gifted students. At least let’s be honest and not ignore the successes. If you make it only about politics, you cannot ignore statistics.

    [Reply]

  10. This is not all about Kevin. This is about an electorate who voted for someone with 3 kids in the elementary system who had never been to meetings before he decided to run. You said his opponent was a bad opponent, so are you suggesting he should not have been elected? His opponent was a parent of kids in the upper grades. He was an officer in the Music Parents group. He had actually experienced more than just bus schedules and class sizes as an issue.
    SO — you say it’s a matter for the voting booth. Well — I think it’s a matter of evaluating his opponent too. Or stepping up and running as an independent if you are in his region and eligible. But it’s not about dismissing him. Brake made no brave vote. Glad you feel you handed him this political nugget, but you demean voters even more when you suggest that single issues determine the outcome. And you keep calling yourself a democrat. That’s pretty flexible….around here, the only distinction between and R and a D is what primary they vote in. You were once an R and served proud as such, and ran and lost to a D. You knock those who support candidates you don’t like, but you have proudly in the past suggested that you invented JDB….isn’t that a knock on your judgment?

    [Reply]

    Shining Light Reply:

    Positions candidates take on issues is a great way to evaluate them.

    Leadership abilities are very important when evaluating a candidate. I look for an honest open candidate whose past stands on issues reflect integrity and a willingness and ability to effectively communicate with citizens. When Ray asked Mr. Buraks about the consent agenda items, Mr. Buraks answer was it could be talked about after taking the vote. What purpose did it serve to talk after the vote was taken. This decision had no integrity and made no sense. This action was a clear indication, he wanted no part of an open debate on the matter.

    I also evaluate a candidate on his/her experience. In these tough economice times, I think we need to consider candidates whose backsgrounds reflect expertise in finance and business.

    The Tredyffrin Democrat Website states that they want citizens to go to the ballot box informed and that their purpose is to get Democrat candidates elected and affect public policy for improved transparency in local government , with greater access to elected officials.

    It’s clear Democrats want to get their candidates elected. As for the rest, I guess citizens are supposed to think about the broader perspective.

    [Reply]

  11. “I am going to guess that Rev. Dorsey is not too keen on what Buraks has done. To be an effective team, you have to be aligned on most things. I don’t see it here. ”

    This is where your Lee Atwater approach fails me miserably. People run for school boards…not parties. Once upon a time cross-filing was honest. It meant that a person wanted to be considered. This LABEL that you insist on tacking on to candidates only makes for lazy voters. If someone wants to be on the school board, they have to get out and meet voters. Liz M. beat Dorsey last time because no one knew either of them, and registration favored Liz presumably because she did have some juice with the R next to her name. But the R doesn’t need to mean anything. Rev. Dorsey is running as a Dem, but that doesn’t mean he is “associating his good name with the TTDEM’s actually hurts his efforts for the other things he could fight and advocate for”

    Not sure why your strategy here is to get Brake elected and Buraks defeated, but a little more substance and a little less obfuscation about personal qualifications, as opposed to your opposition to the individual would be more genuine. It is only about politics — D and R — if voters dont’ make the effort. Really — signs? Sample Ballots? Ask a question or two. Contact the candidate. And ask how many meetings they have attended. You cannot be even marginally effective at a job that you don’t understand.

    A local district 20 years ago ran a slate of candidates to return prayer to schools. The slate won. Whoops. Seems like that may have been an issue that was settled at a slightly more influential level.

    And the TTReps only pick candidates. Most if not all of the money comes from the candidate. “Support the candidates” is not anything any of us should pay attention to. GET TO KNOW THE CANDIDATES. Ask them questions.

    [Reply]

  12. It’s difficult to know if a canditdate will be a good leader. Evaluating someone for honesty, openenness and ability to act independently under group pressure requires more than asking questions. The best tool for evaluating an encumbant cadidtate is his/her stands on past issues.

    Looking at a candidates’ background and their area of expertise is crucial. Numbers don’t lie. I have found numbers people to be more straight forward because there is not as much room for distortion techniques. This economy dictates we seek out, and support business/finance people. I believe numbers people are more prepared for the job we need than lawyers, ex- teachers, ex-administrators etc.

    It is important to me what other people think about candidates. I especially listen to people who are politically active and people who are vested in the outcome of elections. eg. store owners, parents with kids in the system, community and school volunteers, teachers and support staff. It is as important or more important to ask questions of these people than the candidate.

    I would not mind having a minister on the school board. No one can know about a person for sure, but the position does hold an inherent credibility.

    [Reply]

  13. FF–you are typically a free market thinker, and your comments about your wife bear out that concept. People that work as aides are almost always vastly overqualified…but by definition are not underpaid because there are no issues filling the jobs. They are jobs that in an earlier generation were volunteer or done by the classroom teacher. I went through TE schools in the 60s…
    Thanks for the info about her longer day. That has no doubt come from the dramatic drops in the number of aides hired. Does she get paid for every hour or does she stay longer on her own? Note that a contractual teacher day is 7:35 and that includes 30 minutes paid for lunch…
    But thanks to your wife. At one time, the elementary science program was designed and expanded by a Science aide, who was a certified science teacher who didn’t want a full time job. She wanted to pursue her love of science and teaching jobs were not her goal at that time. TE has a great many highly qualified residents who are willing to accept the “low pay” and do a fabulous job for the kids.
    supply and demand?

    [Reply]

  14. At the heart of TENIG is a dedicated group of community servants, this is the model we need to follow. People of the community that want to serve. Offers the community “the best” protection of our children, safety of their surroundings, efficiency and cost savings as shared members of this community.

    [Reply]

  15. Dave,

    The Administrators and Board of Directors know that the school district benefits from over qualified, dedicated, citizens who want to serve the community and contribute their vast knowledge and skill sets to the developing minds and body’s of children in this district.

    They are taking a bet that this segment will accept lower pay and less in benefits. Even if they don’t or won’t, it won’t matter anyway, because the out sourcing company can simply interview these incredibly over qualified candidates and be thrilled to “hire them back” at lower salaries and less benefits.

    This is the problem for TENIG. Even with outsourcing, this model can be followed.

    [Reply]

    flyersfan Reply:

    that is an interesting idea as I believe it happens in the private world.. Hire back those that are outsourced. But some folks may just say the heck with it and look at other school districts for opportunities or just go on to other stuff. Depends on how much one needs the job. Around here, maybe not so much.

    [Reply]

  16. Excellent TENIG employees as well they would be! We want them too! But these poor people should be in the position to earn a sustainable wage, and provisions for their healthcare, We should be able to come to a compromise for all. TENIG has always been willing to talk and make concessions to the conditions during my term in office. I think the forward view to consider to outsource could have been discussed a bit more with the faithful members of TENIG before presenting the strategy. This is a win for these employees, our current staff maintain there positions and our community evolves into a better community workforce. TENIG brings a favorable economical and diverse balance that from my personal experience is favorable over outsourcing companies.

    [Reply]

    Shining Light Reply:

    Dave,

    I agree with you and others do too but that gets you no where. The sad fact of the matter is the actions of the administrators and the board of directors indicate they just don’t care. Flyers Fan says ” Depends on how much one needs the job. Around here, maybe not so much.” They really tell themselves things like this. They presume to speculate on “how much people need their jobs.” And they speculate “not so much.” Flyers Fan, how much do you need your job? My guess is maybe not so much. I hope no one has the power to take you job away.

    John is right. If you want any chance of turning this around, you’ll have to do it at the voting booth. You’ll have to organize TENIG just like the good people of GlenHardie organized to save the tennis courts. You’ll have to appeal to the emotions and the decency of the parents and community members. My guess is as the reality of the strategy approaches, it will take the shape of the tennis court drama. Parents will find out at the last minute, there will be chaos and hopefully, will be put on the back burner for forever and a day.

    The Administrators and the Board of Directors have all the power and their not going to listen to stories about the poor people who deserve to earn a sustainable wage and have provisions for their healthcare. Did you read Keith’s post a few days ago? In bold print, People who don’t want to consider this strategy remind him of the ostrich with his head in the sand. Keith is on the Board of Directors at Unionville Chadsford. My guess is even though Keith doesn’t live here, pay taxes here or have children in this school district, he will continue to present information and ideas that push this agenda. I can only speculate what his motivations are. Maybe he wants to do the same in UCF and if he can get it done here, he’ll have an example he can talk about to the good people of UCF. Maybe they’ve already done it in UCF. With him on the board, I wouldn’t be surprised.

    Kevin Buraks is up for reelection. Now is the time to organize.

    [Reply]

    Cowardly Anon Reply:

    I just don’t get this discussion. This is a full year before the contract in place even expires. It was about a year ago that we heard this noise about the demotion of teachers.

    The market dictates survival or failure. The admins and board do NOT have all the power. Even outsourcing has many phases and TENIG has every opportunity to negotiate, as the custodians did before.

    And SL — WHY are you annoyed with Keith? This is a public forum and exchange of information. You complain that the board doesn’t speak up, but when a person on a board who has just a tad more understanding of the process than you do does offer information, you accuse him of having an agenda. What do you have? An anti-management, pro worker agenda that is also supposed to protect the taxpayer?
    You can only turn this around at the voting booth if you have alternatives to the candidates. And the tennis court drama needs to be linked to the recent decision to let Glenhardie float away by the developer Overlay district.

    But keep on bickering. That will accomplish a lot.

    [Reply]

    Shining Light Reply:

    I’m not annoyed. I am confused why you and Keith, an ex board member and a sitting board member in another district who don’t live here or pay taxes here or have kids in the school system post on this forum. You have no interests here. You can’t influence decisions so your posts mean nothing.

    He nor you have more understanding of how the process works than me.

    Here’s my agenda: Transparency, accountability, respect, decency, communication

    Could you please reveal your agenda. Could you please let us know what two people who don’t live here and don’t pay taxes here are doing posting in this community about matters that have nothing to do with them. However, I do appreciate your posts because they keep the conversation going.

    You label citizens with behaviors and terms that suit you perfectly.

    flyersfan Reply:

    lets here it for the working class . WOW, i am taking some hits around here and there is a lot of anger and bitterness. I thought my wife and others were doing a good thing. They are overqualified based on their previous work, decided that for whatever they were going to make would give back to the community, get a small stipend as AN AIDE and contribute.
    And yes, coward, I am a free market thinker. And still, my wife decided to forgo her free market inclinations. She would probably work for free in the TESD but don’t let that secret out! And how lucky for her to be in that position. How un free market is that>? Almost stalinist. Many of you folks around here are angry, angry at the economics of our times. Sorry for all of you. I am not speculating on anything except some folks, if outsourced will stay, some will leave. I wonder how ya’all voted the last couple years, locally and nationally and statewide… Just wonderin”

    [Reply]

  17. Fan,

    Could you please clarify………….your wife works as an aide and you are advocating for outsourcing her job. Does she have the same view on this issue as you do?

    What do you, as a free market thinker, think about the administrators granting themselves raises and bonuses hidden and slipped in a consent agenda in hopes that citizens would not find out. Employees in the free market cannot and do not grant themselves raises and bonuses. Now we know from Guy’s post, Administrative personnel can also be outsourced but no one is talking about that.

    [Reply]

    flyersfan Reply:

    Shining, there are some assumptions you are making that don’t necessarily come from my posts.. I never said I am advocating outsourcing for her job. And I never had a conversation with her as to whether she would take an outsourced job, if it came to that. Maybe she would, I don’t know right now. I would bet she doesn’t either, depending on the terms of her employment, fatigue, etc. She may stick, or retire, or do something else. I don’t know now.

    As per keiths post, the rest of your accusations against the school board, well Im not sure you are correct about that. You claimed I was a free market thinker, and I picked up on that theme. As a general rule, I am. She will have options, unless she is fired which I doubt, and in a free market, or regulated free market, this is how it is… self correcting. I am glad you have taken up the mantle of the proletariat. Makes for good reading!
    Hope there is now some clarity for you vis a vis what I wrote.

    [Reply]

  18. Shining,
    .
    Let’s correct a glaring error in your post above – the administrators cannot and did not grant themselves raises as you allege. Only a majority of the board can do that.
    .
    Further, let’s explore Guy’s statement that, “Administrative personnel are but one example of a “job” ripe for outsourcing.”
    .
    Here are the 35 administrative positions in TE.
    Which ones would you outsource?
    Why?
    Can you name a company where TE might use to outsource?
    Can you provide evidence that any other district in PA has successfully outsourced administrative positions?

    Superintendent
    Supervisor, Curriculum and Instruction
    Director of Personnel
    Supervisor, Special Education
    Business Manager
    Elementary Principal
    Supervisor, Curriculum and Instruction
    Secondary Principal
    Supervisor, Curriculum and Instruction
    Elementary Principal
    Elementary Principal
    Middle School Principal
    Elementary Principal
    Middle School Principal
    Supervisor, Reading
    Supervisor, English/Communication
    Supervisor, Curriculum and Instruction
    Supervisor, Mathematics
    Supervisor, Science
    Supervisor, Music, K-12
    Elementary Principal
    Assistant or Vice Middle School Principal
    Supervisor, Special Education
    Assistant or Vice Secondary Principal
    Assistant or Vice Secondary Principal
    Supervisor, Special Education
    Assistant or Vice Secondary Principal
    Assistant or Vice Middle School Principal
    Assistant or Vice Middle School Principal
    Assistant or Vice Secondary Principal
    Assistant or Vice Middle School Principal
    Director of Management Information Systems
    Supervisor, Curriculum and Instruction

    [Reply]

  19. keith, my wife works over 30 hours per week. She is full time. She receives no healthcare benefits. Not sure where there is proof of that, only that she knows she isn’t eligible for these benefits.

    [Reply]

  20. keith, even if aides are outsourced, which I believe ultimately won’t happen, or won’t happen with a reduction in pay, if the outsourcing company employees enough people, wouldnt they have to give benefits? or will these outsourced aides be considered self employed? Not sure of all the laws, but in as much as I cannot call my employees self employed, or independent contractors, if this follows then unlike the law that prohibits me from doing this in my office, the law must allow for the title of independent contractors to be aides? There are tax ramifications to calling an employee an independent contractor… wonder how this would work.. also, if aides are subbed out, you can bet there will be a reduction in aides hired, especially if the hourly wage stays the same.

    [Reply]

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