Friday, May 03, 2013

The SBO--Make Them an Offer They Can Easily Refuse

Last week, Ms. Teacher went to work, and noticed there was a ballot box in the check-in room. She had no idea there was going to be a vote, and neither did any of her colleagues. But there it was, and she was handed a ballot.

There was an SBO, a proposal to increase the school day, already six hours and fifty minutes, by 37 minutes Monday to Thursday. Ms. Teacher saw nothing about getting paid for the extra time. Then she heard some of her colleagues screaming about it in distinctly uncomplimentary terms. The consensus was that this was nuts, and why would anyone want to do such a thing?

Ms. Teacher located her chapter leader, who told her the District Representative wanted this SBO. Now, to me, that's pretty hard to believe, but I suppose if I were pushing such a crappy idea, I'd blame the DR, or pretty much anyone handy. You could always blame the mayor, I suppose. Here's the thing, though--an SBO vote is theoretically a partnership between the principal and the chapter leader. Nothing can even come to a vote without the chapter leader's OK.

It was a stressful day for Ms. Teacher. She's kind of sensitive, and doesn't like too much controversy. And yet, there it was. All day, everyone was shouting at one another. They weren't really mad at each other, but rather agitated that anyone would have the audacity to offer such a crappy idea.

At the end of the day, there were over a hundred votes against the SBO, and only one in favor. Ms. Teacher suspects it was the chapter leader, as does everyone else. But Ms. Teacher isn't the sort of person to confront the chapter leader with that.

However, she is the sort who votes every chance she gets, unlike 83% of working NYC teachers.
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