Douglas County (Colo.) Teachers Union - School District Negotiations Without Violence

Marion Herbert's picture
Monday, June 4, 2012

Attending a public negotiating session one afternoon last week between the Douglas County, Colorado school district administration and the American Federation of Teachers Union was an eyeopener that revealed union attitudes.

It was not really a school board meeting; rather, it was a formal negotiation open to the public. Despite what one might expect from the spectacle of the teachers' unions in Wisconsin, this was not a destructive free-for-all.

Rumor had it that unions were going to bus in hundreds of supporters from outside the district to disrupt proceedings. It did not happen. The meeting was orderly and cordial on all sides.  Warned about a potential large turnout, the meeting was moved to the gym of the Douglas County High School in Castle Rock. There were about a half dozen or so police present. Although it was almost boring at times, it was very revealing of union attitudes.

The local union members showed up in purple T-shirts and collected themselves at the north building for a march (or walk) together to the gym in the south building. They arrived relatively close to start time and so about forty were held outside the capacity-filled auditorium.

I've noticed a propensity for unionists to gather together in groups, identify with T-shirts and wait to be led by a leader. I shouldn't be surprised. Their T-shirts were emblazoned on the front with "I make a difference every day." Indeed they do, but I couldn't help wondering what the nature of that difference was.

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