Contract negotiations should not be in the press
To the editor:
It is unbelievable that a member of the Board of Education would discuss contract negotiations in the press. (“Weathering the storm at schools,” by Aimee Blackburn, The Arab American News, December 12-18, 2009).
The step increases Ms. Blackburn refers to have not been given every year in the past; the more education you get, the more you can increase your pay. I paid $13,000 to get a master’s degree to improve my teaching. I received a $600 per year raise. In about 20 years I will have that paid off.
Also, Ms. Blackburn is using percentages from the old pay scale, then talking about a new scale expanding out to 20 years. This directly impacts the percentages greatly, so a teacher at 15 years who is not at step 14 but actually13, would not get the current $82,000, which should be $85,000. With the proposed scale, if it’s anything like the others that have been offered, the above 15 years senior teacher would be at about $79,000 before the 6.3% cut this year and then the next. No, I am not on the bargaining unit.
The Dearborn Federation of Teachers has never said that cuts don’t need to be made. The cuts need to be made in other areas first though. Eliminate the extras first, teacher coaches, resource teachers, interventionist…. any limited-student-contact position first. Having three associate superintendents is not making a cut. Please check all the facts and don’t talk about contracts in the press when CLOSED negotiations are ongoing.
Bruce Liepe, Dearborn teacher
No excuse for teacher’s unprofessional remarks
To the editor:
As the Dearborn Public Schools Board of Education proceeds with the budget cuts, many employees, parents and community members are very worried and stressed out about what our schools will become as of February first. Tempers flared at the January 11 board meeting as members of the Dearborn Federation of Teachers expressed their concerns about the ongoing contract negotiations, the layoff of many teachers and the playing of the blame game by some people. During citizen participation a teacher from Whitmore Bolles directed some very angry comments at Board President Aimee Blackburn for the editorial that she sent to all of the local newspapers.
During her comments the teacher from Whitmore Bolles made some derogatory remarks about the Arab American community. I am concerned and appalled that an educator who teaches our children would use a public forum to state that the Arab American community “can easily be manipulated” and that the Arab American community is “pandered to” by the board president. Is this teacher implying that members of the Arab American community are not capable of making their own decisions and they need a board member to “pander” to them?
This teacher from Whitmore Bolles should have refrained from making such unprofessional remarks at a board of education meeting that is watched by many people in the community. The Arab American News is a newspaper that is read by many people, many of whom are not Dearborn residents and is on the Internet where many people read it, not only Arab Americans.
Maha Mustafa, Dearborn parent