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Settled strike good for all

Now that teachers and administrators at Collins Career Center have reached an agreement, it is important for the two groups to get back to what’s important – the students.

Wednesday, February 27, 2002

Now that teachers and administrators at Collins Career Center have reached an agreement, it is important for the two groups to get back to what’s important – the students.

There will be no strike at the school now, which means the pupils will not be subjected to having their education interrupted as they become acclimated to replacement teachers. Being a vo-tech school, this could have been detrimental.The students there chose to attend the school to learn a trade, and a change in educators would have impeded their ability to learn their occupation of choice.

It would have been especially hard for the seniors to adjust. Having spent more than a year and a half learning a trade, they would have had to begin taking direction from a new instructor who could have a totally different philosophy than their current teacher. In addition, the replacement teacher may not have been qualified to instruct that particular subject.

Halting the strike will also save the school a significant amount of money. Hiring replacement teachers is a major expenditure and, given the school’s current financial status, would have been one it could not have afforded to take on. Additionally, the school’s declining enrollment would have likely taken an even bigger hit as many of the students would have probably chosen to return to their home schools.

What’s important now, though, is for the board and the teachers to work to find harmony. The teachers union reluctantly accepted the board’s final offer even though they were wanting more. To avoid a future strike, the board is going to have to show it is willing to compromise as well.

Communication is key. Both sides have to hear each other out and find accord on items they do not agree on. No matter how far off they are in their expectations, concessions are going to have to be made to assure the school continues to operate as is.

Otherwise, the students will suffer. A vocational school is a great tool for both young people and adults, but it is worthless if qualified individuals are not there to instruct the students.