This post is offered as clarification regarding the ‘outsourcing alternative’ strategy that Neal Colligan prepared for the TE School Board’s consideration and the receipt of the document . On June 4, Neal sent the following email to the school board at the District email address (email@example.com ) with the outsourcing alternative document attached. (I was copied on the email). As previously explained on Community Matters, the document represented the collaborative effort between community members, District aides and paraeducators and, health care experts. (You can find a copy of the document at the end of this post).
As you know, a group of community members, along with many of the Paraeducators working in the district have been working on an alternative to the outsourcing strategy discussed at the May 13, 2013 Board Meeting. Attached is the result of these efforts. The many citizens of our community who have supported this initiative ask that the Board please seriously consider what we propose. In essence, we urge you to comply with the letter of the Affordable Care Act and keep these several hundred jobs in the District. We believe that this can be accomplished in a fiscally responsible and budget positive manner as you will see.
To be clear, we do NOT represent this employee group. They, like us, are members of our community searching for solutions to a community issue. Unlike those of us who have volunteered to help, they will be directly impacted by your decisions on this matter. Their input was critical in considering the design of this strategy. Many of these District employees are living in fear of workplace retribution for being a part of this effort. As such, we will not attach their names to this conceptual plan.
Finally, it is a conceptual plan only. As we did not possess all of the data necessary, we used estimates where necessary. You will not be limited by this lack of information. As in any conceptual plan, there will be issues to work out in the implementation process if you choose this alternative. We believe that this concept can produce a viable alternative to your current strategy that is good for the District employees, taxpayers and the community at large. As engaged members of the community, we are prepared to help in any way we can as you search for a solution to this issue.
Please accept this in the spirit it is intended…as an attempt to help. Let me know when you receive as I can send this attachment in another format if necessary.
Rather than a response from the School Board to this email, a receipt from business manager Art McDonnell was sent to Neal. It was unclear whether the Board received the information. Because the outsourcing alternative document was to be publicly distributed on June 5, and because it was important that each Board member receive a copy in advance, I forwarded Neal’s email (with accompanying outsourcing strategy document) to each School Board’s personal email address (Neal was copied on the email) with the following message:
I am re-sending Neal’s email and attached ‘Outsource Alternative’ on the outside possibility that you may not have received it.
Over the course of the last 3 weeks, we have met with many of the aides, paras and substitute teachers and I’m certain that as Board members, you share our interest in saving these District employees and their jobs. It is impossible to fully measure the value that this group of employees brings to the District’s children and their families daily. Understanding the current economic requirements of the school district, I hope that you will give Neal’s plan the complete review that it deserves. We both believe that the aides, paraeducators and substitute teachers are valuable assets to this community and their jobs need to be preserved, not outsourced.
Please let Neal or me know if there is anything we can do to help, as you review the various options.
Following the re-sending of the email with the attached outsourcing alternative document, I received no notice of receipt from any Board member nor was there any response from the District. As a result, it remained unclear if individual Board members had received the information. A couple of days after sending the initial email, Neal did receive a personal email from Anne Crowley (no other Board member or myself were included on the email) stating that she would review the information he had sent regarding the alternative proposal. She went on to thank him for his “attendance, comments and thoughtful participation regarding school board issues.”
Other than the private email from Anne Crowley to Neal, I am unaware of no other school board or District communication to Neil in regards to the outsourcing alternative document – official or otherwise. Neal received no Board ‘thank you’ for his efforts as was stated at the Finance Committee meeting. And for the record, there was no response to my email (above) by any School Board member. I hope that this clarifies the matter and I apologize for any misunderstanding.
Click here to read the outsourcing alternative strategy as provided by Neal Colligan.