This article in today's Blade has an interesting point to consider.
The article is about the potential salary that the TPS Board can pay a new superintendent. Basically, the story relates that there is an agreement between the Board and the unions saying that the new superintendent cannot be paid more than Dr. Sanders was - at least until the unions get a raise.
Now, I understand the logic of this agreement. If I were a member of the unions, I'd be urging my union leaders to stay strong on this issue. In fact, David McClellan, president of the Toledo Association of Administrative Personnel, said, "They will not be able to pay him more than [Mr.] Sanders, and we are not budging on that." Fran Lawrence, president of the Toledo Federation of Teachers, was more diplomatic in saying she's "willing to have an open mind about it and enter into discussions with board members."
Now, you may ask, what's the interesting point? What I find so interesting is that the unions have ANY negotiating ability regarding the wages, terms and conditions of employment for someone who is not a member of their union.
I don't blame these unions for seeking such authority or negotiating power. I blame the administration and the board for ceding this right. The first time that the union mentioned the superintendent's salary, they should have been told that they don't represent the superintendent and that his wages were a matter for the Board - not for negotiations with them.
I understand having an agreement about increases in general - saying that if one segment of employees gets a raise, then all employees would get their raises. However, hiring a new superintendent is a different matter. The salary for this position was advertised and the Board should be able to offer wages within that range - without interference from the unions.
If this isn't possible because of the memorandums of understanding that have been signed by administrators and not voted on by the board, then the board needs to hold such administrators responsible for tying their hands in such onerous ways.