The New in a 'New Unionism' Contract
Many aspects of the new three-year
teachers' contract in Montgomery County, Md., which about 75
percent of voting members approved, are aimed at creating a
'culture of continuous quality improvement." Among
Negotiations carried out
using interest based bargaining and conflict-management
training. Labor and management brainstorm solutions to
issues of common concern. Result: For the first time in
district's history, mediation unnecessary.
management councils at all 183 schools within three
years. Councils have authority to set policy in such
areas as instructional programs, hiring, and budget.
Teachers elect representatives. If majority on committee
disagree with principal, they can appeal to an external
joint committee made up of union members and
Contract opens with
explanation of importance of agreed-upon "core concepts"
to school improvement: giving teachers authority over
decisions affecting teaching and learning; providing
continuous and rigorous professional development for
teachers, and holding all staff members accountable for
ensuring improvement in schools' quality.
committees to examine teacher evaluation policies and to
consider new peer review and -assistance programs that
allow teachers to coach and evaluate each