Labor Relations in Education: Policies, Politics, and Practices

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9781607095835: Labor Relations in Education: Policies, Politics, and Practices
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Collective bargaining in the public schools of the nation has its legal roots in the industrial labor model fashioned in the 1930s out of labor strife between union organizers and private businesses. This industrial union labor model was transplanted almost wholesale into the public sector over fifty years ago when teachers, fire and police personnel were granted the legislative right to collectively bargain their wages, benefits, and terms and conditions of employment in most states. What impact has this industrial model had on public education and on the relationship between teachers and administrators? Labor Relations in Education explores unions and collective bargaining in the public schools of America. The history of the laws, the politics of the response to collective bargaining and unions, and the practices of bargaining and managing a contract are explored in this volume. Changes that may move labor relations into professional relations and away from the industrial labor union model and diminish the schism that exists between educators are discussed. A fully developed simulation is included to employ the practices and concepts discussed in the book.

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About the Author:

Todd DeMitchell has spent eighteen years in the public schools and is finishing his nineteenth year as professor and chair of the Department of Education at the University of New Hampshire. His research focuses on school law and labor relations and has published 130 books, journal articles, and law review articles.

Review:

Both new and experienced education practitioners have something to gain by reading Labor Relations in Education. For those new to the collective bargaining experience, DeMitchell makes the process come alive. The use of an intense, well-developed bargaining simulation is DeMitchell's primary vehicle for achieving this goal. But in addition to bringing the bargaining table to the reader, DeMitchell pushes practitioners to think about the relationship between the collective bargaining process and achieving school reform. For any educator with the hope of using the bargaining process as a means to reforming his or her school district, I recommend you start with this book. (Mark A. Paige, school law attorney, Drummond Woodsum Law Firm, Portsmouth, NH)

This book is unique in the artful manner it combines the legal and political history of labor relations in education with practical advice for negotiating and managing labor contracts. Moreover, in each chapter DeMitchell quickly focuses the reader on the policies, laws, ideas, and history most essential to understanding this subject. His chapter about how teachers reconcile their professional status with union membership provides key insights into the complexity of union dynamics at the school and district level. If you read only one book on labor relations in the school environment, this should be the one. (Mark Conrad, superintendent of schools, Nashua, NH, and former school business administrator)

School administrators who are either experts or novices at the bargaining table will eagerly embrace Todd DeMitchell's new book. It is a relevant and important contribution to one of the most essential and often vexing aspects of public school administration. Clearly written, devoid of jargon and legalese, Labor Relations in Education is filled with nuts and bolts information, timely advice, and personal tidbits from an author with unique experience on all sides of the table. DeMitchell uses an historical context to frame a contemporary discussion about the role teachers and unions play in creating change in public schools and the necessary partnership with school leaders that change requires. Using a case study simulation, DeMitchell demystifies the bargaining process and guides the reader through planning, preparation, bargaining, table talk, and settlement. (Cecilia M. Di Bella, superintendent of schools, Sutton Public Schools, Massachusetts; former member, Association of School Business Officials Editori)

This book cogently teaches and prepares administrators for the nuances, rigors and challenges of collective bargaining. (School Administrator)

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