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September Advocate

September Advocate

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Published by: Illinois Education Association on Apr 12, 2010
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Advocate
OFFICIAL PUBLICATION OF THE 133,000 MEMBER ILLINOIS EDUCATION ASSOCIATION-NEA 
S E P T E M B E R 2 0 0 9
 w w w . i e a n e a . o r g
Decatur teacher winspresidential awardSept.7, 2009 -- NolaWilkinson, a fifth-gradeteacher from Decatur
Bus drivers localstops outsourcingp 3IEA’s new website, facebook contestp 4-5Meet several award-winning colleaguesp 6-7
 
|2|
 Advocate
|September 2009
Advocat
e
IEA
Advocate
, Volume 6, Issue 1,Sept.2009
.The
 Advocate 
is published five times annually by the IllinoisEducation Association-NEA. Send correspondence to:iealistens
@
ieanea.org or IEA Department of Communi-cations,100 East Edwards Street,Springfield,IL 62704-1999.The IEA-NE
Advocate 
(ISSN #1540-482X) is theofficial publication of the Illinois Education Association-NEA as a benefit of membership. A non-member sub-scriptionisavailableat$10peryear.Periodicalspostagepaid at Springfield,IL.
The Illinois Education Association- NEA’s mission is to effect excellence and equity in public education and to be THE advocacy organization for all public education employees.
Ken Swanson
President
Robert Blade
Vice President
Cinda Klickna
Secretary-Treasurer
Patti Hodges
Interim ExecutiveDirector
Charles McBarron
Director of Communications
Bob Ray
Media Relations Director
Sarah Antonacci
Communications Specialist
Mark Ritterbusch
Graphic Designer
Denise Ward
Administrative Assistant
Linda Rice
Secretary
Christina Williams
Secretary
Postmaster:Send address corrections to Illinois Education Association, attn: membership processing, 100East Edwards, Springfield, IL 62704-1999
Use your membershipcard to save $$
Visit the IEA website at 
www.ieanea.org
and click on this icon to begin saving today! 
Use your membershipcard to save $$
Commentary
Ken’s
A
s I ponder the challenges we find be-fore us, I am reminded of Jimmy Buf-fet’s song “Changes in Latitudes,Changes in Attitudes.”IEA must rethink how we approach can-didate recommendations for federal andstate offices. We need to review how we canhold incumbents accountable for their per-formances, how we evaluate the viability ofchallengers, and how we then use IPACE re-sources to impact elections.Letmebespecific,yourIPACEcommitteeisconsideringsignificantlychanginghowwespend IPACE dollars to ensure those dollarspromote our mes-sage, leverage sup-port for our keyissues and mobilizemembers and thepublictosupportcan-didates who supportus. Conversely, weneed to leave behindthose who don’t walktheirtalkwhenitistimetoputavotebehindtheir rhetoric.There are also significant changes com-ing to IEA itself. As many of you know, for-mer Executive Director Jo Anderson left inApriltobecomesenioradvisortoArneDun-can. FieldServicesDirectorPattiHodgeshasbeen ably filling in as acting exec, while thehiringcommitteelooksforasuccessor. Iamconfident we will have a great candidate torecommendtotheIEABoardofDirectorsforapproval at our September meeting. Thenew exec will bring to the job some newideas and new approaches to the job. I amexcited about partnering with our new execin the coming months as we continue theworkofensuringIEAisthereforyousupport-ing the work of your local as well as beingyouradvocateshereinSpringfieldandWash-ington DC.Inaddition,wewillsoonbegintheprocessofevaluatingand(Ihope)implementingrec-ommendationsoftheCommitteetoEnhanceOrganizational Effectiveness (CEOE), thecommittee created by the 2006 contract ne-gotiated with IEASO, our staff union. CEOEischargedwithstudyingtheentireorganiza-tionwiththegoalofrecommendingchangesthat can enable IEA to do its work on yourbehalfmoreeffectivelyandefficiently. CEOEmembers have been meeting, often fordays at a time, for more than two years andhave sought input from members, leadersand staff. They will soon present their finalreport.The CEOE committee has been encour-aged to be bold and visionary in formulat-ing their recommendations. It will be theresponsibility of governance to give carefulconsiderationtotherecommendations,con-templatehowtheirideas can make usa better organiza-tion and act uponthe recommenda-tions we believewill make us moreeffective and effi-cient. This won’tbe easy, can’t beaccomplished quickly, but, if done thought-fully,willbeapowerfulguidetoallofusmov-ing forward. We must all be bold inembracing positive changes in how we dobusiness as IEA.So, as you begin another year with stu-dents and colleagues I want you to under-stand it will be a year of both dauntingchallengesand,Ibelieve,greatopportunitiesfor us all.Rahm Emanuel, President Obama’s chiefofstaff,likestosay:“Neverwasteagoodcri-sis.” Forallofus,thebudgetcrisis,legislativesession, 2010 elections and opportunity forinternalchangepresentanincredibleoppor-tunitytoworktogethertomakethisa“goodcrisis,” in the sense that we rise to the occa-sion, build on the momentum from ourlegislative action last spring, and find thewaysandmeanstobeabetterIEAthaneverbefore.
The CEOE committee hasbeen encouraged to be bold and visionary in formulating their recommendations.
 
www.ieanea.org |
 Advocate
|3|
do something many thought
couldn’t be ac-complished,theywonbackjobsthattheschoolboardattemptedthree years ago to outsource.How did they do it? By showing school board members ofDistrict 203 their strong ties to the community; by being politi-callysavvy;andbycommittingthemselvestoprovidingfantasticservice.“I told the local that when they go out on the streets, it saysNaperville in six-inch letters on the side of your bus and for thenextthreeyearsyouareauditioningforyourjob.Takecareofthekids,theparentsandthetraffic.Takecarethatyou’retheguybe-hind the wheel,” said Max Bochmann, a 38-year NTA veteran andits president, as well as an IEA executive committee member.“We did. We won. And, we’re thrilled.”In the spring of 2006, the school board decided it wanted totake a look at subcontracting its bus drivers under the guise thatthedistrictwouldn’tknowwhetherrunningitsownprogramwasfiscally competitive unless they put it out for bid.In the initial bid process, the NTA’s numbers were millions be-low competitors, Bochmann said. But the board wasn’t satisfiedand was still considering outsourcing the drivers.Bochmann said he then circulated a survey among his mem-bers that detailed their ages, where they lived, where theyshopped,wheretheywenttoschool,etc.Napervilleisanaffluentcommunity.ThesurveyshowedthatmanyoftheDistrict203driverseitherbought their homes there years ago, or came to work as an em-ployeeofoneofthearea’smajoremployersandthenretiredearlyand came to drive a bus as a second career.“The net result was we have a very high ownership percent-age in our local of homeowners and community members,”Bochmann said.Ultimately, the board decided to subcontract less than 20 per-cent of the jobs. But in making that decision, they also proposeda contract to the existing District 203 drivers that slashed theirpay by 20 percent, took away their holidays and made other sig-nificant changes.So, the bus drivers had to decide if they wanted to stay andfight. Bochmann said he told them that while they were taking acutinpay,theystillhadtheirpensionandtheystillhadhealthin-surance — two big items. About 75 percent of the association’smembers ratified the contract.“In a sense, they cut the union brotherhood business to thecore. But our people stood in and our people stood tall and wecontinued to meet the need.”So, the bus drivers set their minds on the future. They put abig emphasis on customer satisfaction.And,theyactivelycampaignedagainstthethreeanti-taxmem-bers who were so against keeping the jobs in District 203. Thedrivers got behind three other candidates and the three candi-dates the bus drivers supported won the election.“My local stepped up and did a wonderful job. If you want po-litical action, a near-death experience is a great thing for that.”Ultimately15to19percentoftheDistrict203driversweresub-contracted, first to Laidlaw and then after Laidlaw was sold, toFirst Student.Thecontractexpiredthisyearandtheboarddecidedtoendthesubcontracting and let the NTA members have their routes back.That became official July 1.“I have a functioning, integrated local for the first time ever.These people are pulling together. We have a need, a goal andsomething we want to achieve,” Bochmann said.
 
This spring, Naperville TransportationAssociation bus drivers were able to
Local unites, strategizes, wins

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