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DCFT Response


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DCFT Response

  1. 1. Dan McMinimee:This is in response to your e-mail to me of June 12, 2012.ExclusivityExclusivity for a union with majority support is not a monopoly, it is democracy. It is orderrather than chaos. It allows employees to select their representative freely, without coercionfrom the employer. It allows them to amplify their voice through collective action under ourconstitutionally protected right to freedom of association. Without it, under current Coloradolabor laws, the employer would be free to discriminate among employees to divide andconquer them. It would allow the employer to grant favors to some individuals or groups,influencing the employees’ choice of representative. It permits the formation of differentclasses of teachers, depending on their willingness to accept inferior wages and workingconditions. We will not agree to it.Recently, scholars have published extensively on the issue of “members only contracts” andminority unions. We have offered to share that scholarship with your attorney, but he has nottaken us up on that offer. I request any literature upon which the District relies in itsadvocacy of a members only contract for a majority union. All of the scholarship advocatingfor representation without exclusivity focuses on the rights of minority unions to bargainwhen no union has majority support. It relies heavily on statutory protections, not applicablein this case, to insure that employers cannot play unions off against each other to gaindomination over them.The Board has granted an exclusive contract to the bus drivers’ union, raising the appearanceof favoritism based upon a union’s complicity with the demands of the employer. We willnot enable the sinister employment practices of discrimination and employer domination ofunions by agreeing to delete exclusivity from the contract.Communications with Members and the PublicThe Union will not agree to any restrictions on its ability to communicate with its membersand the public. Both parties should make their best efforts to engage in such communicationswith honesty and candor. Both sides should exercise tolerance and understanding that theymay not share the same point of view on important issues.We stand by our agreement to put the language in the contract concerning workingconditions spelled out by the four square bullet points of your June 12, 2012, e-mail.Denial of Employment Status to Union RepresentativesThe School District proposes to terminate teachers serving as full time union representatives,even though the DCFT has agreed to reimburse the full costs of their compensation to theSchool District. Since the union’s proposal is cost-free to the District, the District’s positioncan only be intended both to punish individuals for choosing to be active in the union but
  2. 2. also represents an unwarranted interference with the union’s own decision about the bestform of representation – employee-leaders, rather than full-time professional leadership.This is an organizational decision that should be left to the union membership itself.Additionally, if union representatives are not teachers, they will not be able to administer andimplement the teacher training program owned by the American Federation of Teachers,Educational Research and Dissemination. (ER &D) Since 1996, ER & D has been a valuableprogram in the District advancing the skills of teachers which positively influences everystudent passing through their classrooms. The Union cannot, on its own, choose to continuethis program through non teachers.Pay for PerformanceThe Union has agreed to a cost neutral allocation of teacher compensation funds.Additionally, the Union will work with the District to make modifications to pay forperformance. However, the Union opposes diverting compensation dollars to buildingprograms. The Union also does not oppose the phase out of longevity, Extended ServiceSeverance and Knowledge Level Advancement so long as the parties agree on a clearalternative which provides for compensation to teachers.Dues DeductionThe District has agreed to permit the employees represented by another labor organization toauthorize voluntary union dues deduction. The Union pays the full costs of dues deduction.The District has articulated no legally cognizable justification for this discrimination. Itshould agree to allow the teachers the same rights as other employees in the district.Brenda SmithDCF President