To the Editor:
I thought I would share some thoughts to the readers of Manchester Ink Link on the recent events of our City of Manchester.
Recently a veto was given against the teachers contract. We all know that the teachers haven’t had a contract for the past two years. And we know why? We know that a 2:1 margin denounced the agreements in previous contracts as “unfair” and “unreasonable.” Negotiations continued and our representatives from the School Board unanimously voted to send the newest contract agreements to the full board of the Mayor and Alderman for approval. And we know the end result of that.
Now I, as a parent, parent volunteer, past parent advisor on Title 1 grants, co-author for the Professional Development plan and other volunteer positions, I know that teachers are professionals. We all agree to this. No one doubts this, ever.
I have also worked with the Manchester Police Department – I have completed their nine-week comprehensive Citizens Academy course in 2006. We learned how police officers go about their daily routine, the people they are involved with and the stressful yet professional manner in which they do their jobs.
The Manchester Police Department has union representation and contract negotiations as well. Their contracts were approved, with both sides making concessions and finding ways to save money to help hire and employ more police officers.
So it begs the question as to why one group of professionals continue to not agree unless it is favorable to them where as other groups and professionals have made considerable concessions for the greater good of the city as a whole?
Why is the Teachers Union so angry at our current Mayor simply because he is representing the majority of the people in this city?
The history of such talks between the Teachers Union and our past elected Mayors can be seen as “more, more, more.” Anyone can look back to see the past contracts and the disagreements mostly coming from the teachers union again, if not in their favor.
As a parent, a taxpayer, a volunteer who has given countless hours back to our City of Manchester I say stop with the pity, wants and needs. Such selfishness from a 2:1 margin is very unprofessional and must stop.
Let us focus on concessions, like other city professionals have done, how they achieved their goals and worked together to address the issues our city faces each and every day.
From the teachers whom I worked with for eight years I can say that they would truly want to see a quality education thrive in our city and would be supportive in ways of saving money so that this can be achieved.
Don’t you agree savings produced by a teachers’ contract should go first and foremost toward addressing the issues that plague our city schools and improvement of our education in the best interest of the students and the city as a whole? Then any additional savings produced or remaining can be applied to raises as agreed to in approved contracts.
Robert M. Tarr
Robert Tarr has been a resident of Manchester since 1998. He has held several volunteer positions, run for various state and local offices and worked in retail. He currently lives on the city’s West Side and is a candidate for Alderman-at-Large.