BTU has been bested once again.

While the teachers union has stubbornly insisted on step raises and fought merit pay, the folks in Miami-Dade have done what’s best for teachers.

They’ve settled their contract agreeing to use race to the top money to fund teacher merit raises over the next three years instead of a 1% step raise.

Estimates have the best teachers moving up to more than $100,000 per year.

The agreement needs to be reviewed by the state Department of Education, but it fits with the department’s guidelines for disbursement of RTTT funds.

Meanwhile BTU is doing everything possible to sabotage RTTT and keep the status quo.

Their latest harebrained scheme suggests that transportation to Magnet schools be eliminated to save the district money.

Look at it another way what it really says; “fire all those unneeded bus drivers before you fire our teachers.”

But then it fits with BTUs refusal to negotiate in good faith, leading to the third impasse in three successive years.

A final attempt to break the impasse recently ended with the union walking out of the negotiation session.

Even worse, they’re constantly misrepresenting facts, accusing the Superintendent of committing the Race to the top money for administrators and consultants.

They know very well that the RTTT money is scheduled by the state DOE for technology and programs that will provide for rewarding teachers for performance along with the performance pay itself.

Miami-Dade at least is on the ball.

While blustering about letting teachers go, BTUsless also knows that the money that brought almost half those pink slipped teachers back last year was one time federal stimulus money and not recurring income from the state or federal governments.

The union, along with Pat Sateramo were the head cheerleaders for using that one time stimulus money without giving a damn about the consequences.

Well, readers…  The consequences are quite visible from here.

Meanwhile, BTU has offered little or nothing in the way of real dollar value give backs from a long list of bloated benefits.

Offering to forego the first three months of health care coverage for new teachers during the probationary period is nothing but a red herring.

Giving up new employee benefits when the district is not hiring is not just less than worthless, it’s a cruel joke.

Suggesting the elimination of transportation for Magnet programs, may be a worthwhile suggestion, but it clearly shows that the teachers union is more than willing to lead each of the other six units to the slaughter house first.

Today, it’s the bus drivers, but tomorrow it’ll be maintenance workers, grass cutters (who sometimes make more than step 17 teachers), department secretaries, Metro Technology and others.

It’s time for the teachers union to grow up and understand that it can’t have its cake and eat it, too.

It’s a choice between giving up some of the bloated benefits or keeping jobs for teachers.

Teachers can always get an easy and immediate $67 per month raise.

Just drop union membership.

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