I am one member of a five person board. The opinions I express on this forum are mine only, and do not necessarily reflect the views or opinions of the Escambia County Staff, Administrators, Employees, or anyone else associated with Escambia County Florida. I am interested in establishing this blog as a means of additional transparency to the public, outreach to the community, and information dissemination to all who choose to look. Feedback is welcome, but because public participation is equally encouraged, appropriate language and decorum is mandatory.
Sunday, September 18, 2011
Monday's $10 Million Dollar Impasse Meeting will be the Big Meeting of the Week......
Although we will be having our regular monthly School Board Meeting on Tuesday, September 20th at 5:30--the meeting held twenty-four hours prior on Monday will be the BIG meeting of this week. I anticipate fireworks at this big Monday meeting.
At this special Monday meeting, the School Board will be asked to decide on what course to take with respect to our self-funded health insurance plan. The subject of the meeting could not be discussed prior to this special meeting Monday--and oh, by the way, we've been told that we must make a decision at this meeting and no delays can be tolerated!
The big problem is this--the two plans being presented represent two vastly different formulas and costs, and since the subject of this meeting is an issue that the district and union are at impasse over--individual board members are precluded from requesting additional information or asking any questions of either party (union or Superintendent, staff) until we have this highly structured, tightly formatted, rigidly controlled meeting.
And, as previously mentioned, we have to make a decision, period, at this meeting--ne extensions, no delays. That's what we were told before impasse occurred.
And, as previously mentioned, the two plans we'll be asked to choose between represent a difference in costs to the district [ TAXPAYERS] of up to $10 MIllion Dollars.
So I've been spending my weekend trying to research this issue to the best of my abilities so that I can follow all the rules and make an intelligent decision this Monday; I still do not know how I will vote, but I know for sure I have concerns, deep concerns, about this process and how it leaves the board in total isolation. I don't believe this process works well for anyone.
Meanwhile, the union is busy stirring up the troops, putting flyers in teachers' mailboxes at the school sites one of which I have seen that says, in part, the following:
"*School Board Impasse Hearing* Monday Sept.19 @5:30 Rm. 160 Hall Center
This is a very improtant board meeting to vote for health insurance benefits. We want to fill the board room (160) and the overflow room to let the district know that our insurance is important to us..... If we don't get the board to come to a workable agreement, our medical costs will go way up. I believe, and your union believes, that the money is there to fund us....Please come, bring a friend, and wear red."
Monday is going to be big......