Saturday, September 24, 2011

The Cost of Breaking a Union

Apparently, it is costing taxpayers in Cary a lot of money to break the District 26 teacher’s union.  And for all the talk about fiscal responsibility coming from the board this smacks of hypocrisy.

In addition to paying the Board’s “standard counsel” $1,500 a month, the Board decided to hire another lawyer.  “[He] had come recommended,” Board president Chris Spoerl explained.  In the month of June alone, they paid him $13,789.25.  Then, the following month, Chris Spoerl lamented about the district’s financial situation.    “We have found ourselves in a position where we have to continually fight to stay afloat,” he stated.

I guess “fighting to stay afloat” implies that a high-priced lawyer is needed to bail the water from the ship.   As of July, the board has paid out over $29,000 in legal fees for the ongoing contract negotiations.

Not to mention the hiring of two new administrators at the junior high.

Or $15,000 for some used computers.

Or concluding a new contact with Superintendent Brian Coleman that includes raises based on CPI and up to 4% extra a year upon completion of some undefined “goals.”

Or the unknown amount of money paid to Advantage Analytics, LLC for making the highly informative and enlightening powerpoint presentations Spoerl uses at Board meeting to put us all to sleep.

Nothing like trying to keep a boat afloat which is overburdened with cargo that you yourself have added to the hold. 

Thanks, Chris Spoerl, for showing us that the children really aren’t at the forefront of the Board’s decision-making.  That’s comforting to the thousands of parents who have no choice but to send their kids to District 26 schools.

The Northwest Herald recently reported that $29,000 figure after the documents were secured through Freedom of Information Act requests.  This figure, however, reflects information only through July.  This means that the money given to lawyers is much higher---could even have passed the $40,000 mark, considering that the negotiation team has met several times in the last month and the board apparently thinks nothing of forking over $13k in a month period for legal fees.

The Board wants nothing more than to drag this out as long as possible.  And when this happens, more money flows from Cary taxpayers into the pockets of lawyers.

That is unacceptable. 

Especially considering that this money could have paid for a full time art teacher at one of the schools.

Thanks, board, for showing us your true priority.


If you feel that the board is not acting in the best interest of the children or citizens of Cary, please consider signing the petition of no confidence.

Click here to add your name.


  1. Well done and well said. You are right on the mark as always.

  2. We may be witness to a union-busting competition between this school district and the Algonquin Township Road District. Our new "road commissioner in space" has outlined his legal battle with the puny forces of Operating Engineers Local 150. 22 grievances filed so far. What could go wrong?