Wednesday, November 23, 2005

Bargaining Update

Your bargaining team met last night to begin preparing for continued negotiations. MAKE NO MISTAKE, it is our opinion that the Board’s declaration of impasse is illegal, and we intend to continue to bring a full set of proposals to the bargaining table that include salary and insurance. Bargaining will continue.

Our team reviewed the dates provided by the board, and are requesting to meet for the purpose of negotiations on December 12 and 14.

Additionally, the team will be bringing a recommendation on November 29, to the HEA Executive Board relative to insurance benefit levels beginning in January.

We are still committed to our goal of a fair contract that reflects your worth and the district’s ability to pay.

Feel free to direct any questions you may have to Charles or Rick and look for future updates from your Bargaining team and Crisis Committee.

Friday, November 11, 2005


The Holland School Board’s and the Holland Public Schools Central
Administration’s actions to illegally impose changes in the contract
with Holland Education Association demonstrates the ultimate disrespect
for Holland teachers. This action is in violation of the school
board’s legal responsibility to bargain in good faith with Holland
Education Association. Our elected school board members and the
district’s central administration have not provided the leadership
needed to meet future challenges facing our district. Based on these
facts I move the following motion:

“The membership of the Holland Education Association has NO CONFIDENCE
in the Holland Board of Education and the Holland Public School’s
Central Administration. Our elected leaders and central administration
are no longer able to provide the leadership necessary to enable
teachers in the Holland Public School district to meet the future needs
of the children of Holland Public Schools. The school board’s and
central administration’s actions have breached the long standing bond
of trust between teachers, the school board and the district’s

Teachers will remain on the job despite illegal contract imposition

Holland teachers announced they will be in their classrooms and not on
the picket line despite the Holland school board’s illegal imposition
of a contract Thursday morning.

“We value this community and the future we all share. We heard the
community’s wishes. Therefore, we will not strike at this time. We only
wish the board had the interest of the community in mind as well. We
hope the community will continue to support us by telling the board to
stop this imposition,” said Charles Bullard, Holland Education
Association president.

“We believe our “Contract with the Community”, which the Board is
ignoring, is the way to a healthy future for the Holland Public
Schools.” Bullard added.

Despite continued bargaining sessions with a mediator, the school board
and its attorney, Barb Ruga, declared that negotiations were at an
impasse and illegally imposed a new contract on the teachers. The
terms of the new contract will take effect January 1, 2006.

Bullard said, “We were not at impasse. We presented a proposal and
after the district and their attorney reviewed it for less than thirty
minutes, they declared us to be at impasse. We are still willing to
bargain! We believe the board still has an obligation to bargain a new
contract with us and we will continue to demand the opportunity to
bargain and work out any and all outstanding issues.”

Under the newly imposed agreement, teachers will lose money in salary
and their benefits will be reduced. HEA’s last proposal offered the
administration an “out” from the insurance business that would allow
teachers to purchase their own insurance. The proposal was rejected by
the board.

“The target kept moving,” said Bullard. The board said they needed
cost-containment on insurance and we offered that, but it wasn’t
enough. The action of the board proved that their position was
preordained. The board would prefer confrontation and illegal
strong-arm tactics, which is in sharp contrast to the HEA and the
community’s desire for us to bargain a fair and equitable settlement.”

Thursday, November 10, 2005

Important Bargaining Update

Keeping You Informed 11/9/05
Tonight, the HEA presented a bold new proposal that not only hit the target expectations from the board as it relates to future insurance increases, it exceeded them. Unfortunately, tonight's bargaining session ended prematurely with the Board's attorney declaring impasse after 30 minutes of reviewing our proposal. The board's quick rejection of a very comprehensive and complex proposal that was structured to meet their criteria indicates that tonight's results were preordained.

After insisting that members must make a "fair and reasonable contribution" to their health care benefits, our proposal went beyond that. We proposed that you pay for ALL of your insurance by taking the current cost of insurance and putting it on the salary schedule.

The board said we had to live within the 3-year financial projection. Our proposal did that! To hold the board to that projection, we proposed any extra dollars above the projection be shared with the teachers. At a previous bargaining session, the board's attorney said they would much rather put money on salary schedule and pay FICA and retirement instead of putting it towards insurance. HEA structured the proposal to reflect the board's demand.

The board wants the insurance cost contained by having a 5% cap on future increases. Our proposal included the 5% cap on future increases.

It is truly our belief that this creative and outside the box new proposal addressed all significant needs expressed by the board.

We are expecting the board to impose their October 26th Final Economic Proposal at their November 10 special board meeting at Washington School. This meeting is scheduled to begin at 7:30 a.m. We encourage all of you to attend this meeting.

Wednesday, November 02, 2005

Financial Information

HEA Salary Concessions since 2004

HEA insurance concessions since 2004

4.6% of operating expenses
Amount of
DECREASE of teachers’ salaries from 2000 to 2004

3.23% of operating expenses
Amount of
DECREASE of teachers’ salaries and insurance costs from 2000 to 2004

Difference between the school district’s November 2004 & October 2005 budget projections with the budgeting error included.

Central Office Administrators
Holland Public Average


County/ISD Average
$85, 208

Holland Public Administrators
$5,877 or 6.5% over the County/ISD average

Building Principals and Athletic Directors
Holland Public Average


County/ISD Average

Holland Public Principals
$5,728 or 7% over the County/ISD

Beginning Teachers
Holland Public


County Average

Holland Public Beginning Teacher
$2,084 or 6.3% below the County average

Veteran Teachers with MA Degree
Holland Public


County Average

Holland Public Veteran Teacher
$5,010 or 7.9% below County Average