I get frustrated (in case you haven’t noticed) with what I see has half-truths, half the facts and misstatements coming from the Supt. of Schools Office and wonder why there isn’t more public outrage from the School Committee.
After listening to Steve Gendron misstate the facts about busing to Lowell High (THERE IS NO STATE MANDATE TO BUS HIGH SCHOOL STUDENTS. SO THE EXTRA MILLION DOLLARS HE CLAIMED IT WOULD COST IS FALSE) to try and keep the High School out of HIS neighborhood combined with today’s Letter to the Editor from Lyndsey Killilea, President of the LOWELL SCHOOL ADMINISTRATORS ASSOCIATION I’m getting the feeling half facts and mis-leading statements are the norm for this School Committee and Administration.
Remember when the story first broke in the Column Blog about the Parking Issue the comments of some School Committee members? Here are some highlights from that post (BOLD MINE)
Lowell School Committee blasts union over longer work to work
Posted by sunthecolumn on December 30th, 2016
“Ridiculous” is how Mayor Edward Kennedy and School Committee members are describing a demand by unionized School Department employees to be compensated for having to walk a slightly longer route to work.
Committee members also expressed dismay that the issue wasn’t flagged to their attention or resolved before it ended up before the state Department of Labor in the form of a grievance filed Dec. 23.
“It concerns me this was never brought to our attention and there wasn’t a meeting of the minds to resolve it,” said committee member Gignac.
Gignac, a member of the committee’s negotiating subcommittee, said the panel has had several sessions with the union over the last several months, but the parking issue was never discussed.
“I think it’s a ridiculous grievance,” said committee member Stephen Gendron.
Asked for his reaction to the union’s demands, member Andre Descoteaux laughed and said: “Really.”
Robert Hoey said he fielded four telephone calls and spoke to three people on the issue. “They all said, ‘You gotta be kidding me.’” Hoey declined further comment.
Members Connie Martin expressed no sympathy for the union, noting that free parking is “huge benefit.”
“I don’t think having to walk from the Ayotte as that detrimental,” said Doherty. “Being allowed to park for free is a huge benefit.”
Today after hearing enough whining from Paul Schlichtman on behalf of the Union rank and file, the President of the Union brought forth the rest of the story,
In todays letter to the public, it makes it sound like this School Committee did in fact know about this, feigned the outrage and feigned not knowing.
Unless they want the public to believe that many members of this School Administration including the Supt., Director of Human Resources, the School Business Manager and possibly the School Committee’s attorney never mentioned this issue TO ANY OF THEM.
The Union President states very clearly in today’s letter We attempted to resolve the issue with the School Committee’s designated representatives on multiple occasions over a significant period of time
If that is indeed the case, A) Why isn’t the School Committee calling these administrative people out at a public meeting for keeping them in the dark? and allowing the Committee to be blindsided?
B) Why are they even thinking of giving this Superintendent any type of contract if he and his staff are purposely keeping Issue like this away from the School Committee?
C) If they did in fact know, why the fake outrage and claim they were kept in the dark? Why not just admit you knew and that you don’t agree with it and decided not to settle?
The School Committee based on today’s letter is now put in the position to either have to admit that the Supt. and his staff purposely kept them in the dark and didn’t inform them. Which again makes you ask WHY WOULD YOU REWARD THAT ACTION WITH A CONTRACT?
They appear to have LIED about the fact the issue wasn’t flagged to their attention
In today’s letter we find out that there wasn’t a grievance filed so they are not in violation of their contract,because it isn’t a contract violation. What they filed is
a “charge”asserting that the change in the parking arrangement was a violation of the collective bargaining law.
The link above take you to the entire letter her 5 Major Points are posted below.
In my view, it is very disturbing if true that this School Committee is either being kept in the Dark by their employees, The Supt of Schools, School business administrator or their Legal Counsel or more disturbing is they are purposely misleading the public about what they know or when they knew it.
Either way it reflects poorly on the performance and ability of this School Committee!
Here are her 5 Major Points
1. The LSAA deals with and effectively resolves dozens of different issues annually on behalf of our members and we generally do not meet directly with the members of the School Committee to do so. Instead, we deal directly with the School Committee’s designated representatives who usually include the Superintendent of Schools, the Director of Human Resources, the School Business Manager and the School Committee’s attorney depending upon the issues involved. This is a process that is acceptable to both the School Committee and the LSAA and it has generally produced positive results for all concerned since we have rarely needed to resort to litigation over the years.
2. In this case, we filed a “charge” at the Department of Labor Relations, not a grievance under our collective bargaining agreement, since we are asserting that the change in the parking arrangement was a violation of the collective bargaining law, not our contract. We attempted to resolve the issue with the School Committee’s designated representatives on multiple occasions over a significant period of time. Accordingly, we have followed the appropriate and mutually recognized process at all times contrary to a published report.
3. At no time during our efforts to resolve this issue with the School Committee’s representatives prior to filing the charge did we ask for compensation as a result of the change in the parking arrangement. Instead, we asked for either a return to the previous arrangement or the development of another mutually acceptable resolution.
4. We have been characterized in a negative light in various media accounts since we have asked for an hour of compensation per week now that we have been forced to file the charge to compensate our members for the additional 45 minutes to an hour per day that they are working as a result of the parking change. We are willing to resolve this matter and will drop the litigation with no compensation whatsoever provided that we can find an acceptable parking arrangement that will enable us to continue providing services to our students in the most efficient and productive manner possible.
5. We have seen media reports that one of the city’s priorities is to support downtown businesses and that the city wants to free up parking spaces at the Roy Street Garage for the public which is the reason that the change in the parking arrangement was made. We don’t disagree that businesses should be supported, but not to the detriment of the LSAA’s number one priority which is to provide the best service to the students of the Lowell Public Schools.
In closing, we normally would not issue any statements to the media concerning collective bargaining or legal issues with the School Committee since we believe that the most productive way to resolve those issues is through the mutually agreed upon protocols that have been established. However, over the past two weeks, the LSAA has been publicly disparaged in various media reports and we must therefore set the record straight by issuing this public statement.
Lyndsey Killilea, President
Lowell School Administrators Association
SUN Editor’s note: The Lowell School Administrators Association is a labor organization consisting of the School Administrators who are employed in the Lowell Public Schools as directors, coordinators, assistant principals, department chairs, social workers, school psychologists, instructional specialists, team chairs and guidance counselors.