TEEA President Debra Ciamacca Speaks Out . . .

As I often have in the past, when someone makes a comment that I do not want to see buried on an old post, I put it on the frontpage. I received the following comment from Tredyffrin Easttown Educational Association President Debra Ciamacca. Per her request, I have removed the teacher email. In removing the post, I stated that I was forwarded this email from a T/E parent who had received it from a teacher.  I just contacted the T/E parent and they reconfirmed that the email they received from a teacher  did not contain any confidentiality statement on the email nor did it have a signature of the writer.

I believe that the TESD budget situation is an extremely important topic for all residents.  Equally important is that all sides be allowed the freedom to express their opinions. Below is Debra Ciamacca’s comment in its entirety.

First of all, let me say that you were not authorized to print an email from me to the teachers in this District. If you read the entire email, you will see that there is a Confidentiality agreement at the bottom.

I am asking you to remove this email from your blog immediately.

Secondly, to insinuate that teachers would hold grades over the heads of parents or children is so utterly defamatory I don’t know where to begin. Personally, as a former Marine Corps officer who served her country HONORABLY for five years, I would NEVER use grades to hurt children or parents. I have taught for TEN years in this school district as a teacher….and I do not appreciate having my reputation or the reputation of the other teachers in this district dragged through the mud.

As far as a “conflict of interest”….it is NOT a conflict of interest to stand up for the educational program and the children of this District.

Debra A. Ciamacca President,
Tredyffrin Easttown Education Association

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45 Responses

  1. I think the taxpayers have every right to know what is going on with the teachers and their efforts to sway T/E parents. I received one of those letters myself. Guess what TEEA president, my husband lost his job, we have run out of our savings and we are on the verge of loosing our house. I can’t afford a 6 or 7% increase in my taxes. No, I can’t come Monday night and support an Act 1 exception. Because I can’t afford an Act 1 exception. Does that mean that I hate the T/E teachers and want their jobs cut. No! But don’t pressure me in to taking sides with the teachers to the risk of my wallet.

    As for your strong arm tactics – wow. I thought you were no longer in the Marines.

  2. Email confidentiality does not extend to 3rd parties. Ms. Ciam could be upset with whoever SHE sent it to, but Pattye — you absolutely were not obligated to honor any agreement you were not party to.

    TE Parent — why don’t we all see if we can wear BLACK to the meeting on Monday. How appropriate that the teachers want us to wear RED — since that’s how they want the district to operate….so let’s wear black as a big HINT as to what level we want to operate our finances.

  3. Pattye, you should not have removed that letter from your blog. How dare Ms. Ciamacca suggest it.

    I too received that letter from a teacher, mine came with a personal note to (1) encourage me to attend and (2)a suggestion to pass the email on to other T/E parents. As others have told you, there was no signature nor confidentiality statement on the letter I received. Perhaps Ms. Ciamacca did send it to teachers w/her signature and confidentiality statement and did not expect that her letter would be circulated. Perhaps she intended the teachers to write their own letter which is why she included ‘talking points’. But guess what . . . that’s not what happened, at least some of the teachers just forwarded the letter.

    I would guess that Ms. Ciamacca’s letter has circulated to hundreds of T/E parents (and also those who are not T/E parents). I think Ms. Ciamacca’s original letter (and remember as a parent, I did not know who wrote it until she decided to post that information on your blog!) and her demand for you to remove it are not helping the cause of the teachers and her Act 1 exception.

    You took the high road, too bad that Ms. Ciamacca did not.

  4. Absolutely comical!

    The union president sends an email out to 500 union members asking them to forward it on to innumerable others and expects it to remain confidential? And then she sends out a rant that inevitably becomes public? Will she send another email demanding Pattye remove her rant?

    This is a sad commentary on the leadership ability of the union president.

  5. Once again people need their comments corrected…
    I did recieve the email from a teacher with the name of the TEEA President and the confidentiality statement included. READ HER EMAIL! It says for teachers to call a parent, so this was not an email campaign! Some teachers just forwarded the email, but Ms. Ciam did not intend for that to happen.

    • So what. An email from a Union President to CALL parents….not sure that’s not a violation of privacy for the family phone number. No one needs a war here. Because no one will win. Don’t take sides — learn the facts and reach constructive conclusions.

  6. Pattye,
    Once again a great job on the blog to try and get all sides in the open. I’m not sure where Ms. Ciamacca received her legal training but my opinion would be she is flat out wrong regarding the effect of any confidentiality statement without going into a long, drawn-out analysis. Her strong-armed tactics and invocation of her time served in the Marines, while honorable, has absolutely nothing to do with this issue – it’s a smoke screen. My general thought would be if you think you are right on the issue, you don’t need to hide your message.

    Clearly there is a problem here regarding the financial situation in the district. The solution is going to have to involve compromise on all sides – a union unwilling to negotiate or work together will ultimately result in a solution that will hurt all involved.

  7. OK, so I was made aware of this blog a few days ago and I’ve read every post of every thread regarding TEEA/TESD and this budget situation. We have gone back and forth and the overwhelming message I see is that the teachers have to fix this situation by re-negotiating the salary scale in the contract. I’m here as a TEEA member and educator in this district to remind all of you who are contributing to and following this blog a few things:

    1. Our salary scale was reached in a collective bargaining atmosphere with BOTH parties spending a great deal of time to “settle” on what was acceptable to both. Of course nobody could predict the economy’s melt-down that would occur 4 months from then. Your school board of elected officials agreed to this salary scale as did the TEEA.

    2. The teachers in this district have nothing to do with how the tax dollars are spent. Can we please open another line of discussion which looks at exactly WHO is in charge of spending the money here? It’s the school board members along with the administrators at the district office who have had a field day spending money without any foresight into whether is was prudent. Case in point, the 6.5 million dollars spent last year to both purchase AND renovate the new TEAO district offices. Of the 9 million dollar deficit, there’s 2/3 of the money. Last week we had a presenter speak to us about digital learning. This “expert” spent 6 years in the teaching profession back in the 60’s and since then got business degrees from Harvard and Yale. The district paid him $10,000 dollars to talk to us for 3 hours. Who was in charge of that expense?…the TE district administrators. I could think of at least 20 ways that $10K would have been better spent….or, dare I say it….SAVED!

    3. It’s pretty hard as a teacher to have an overabundance of district administrators, each making 6-figure salaries, in charge of over-spending tax dollars only to cry “deficit” when the money is gone, and then have the community demand that the teachers come through and make up for the administrators’ collectively poor financial decisions. The TE public needs to look into the money spent to both pay these administrators as well as to fund their decisions of what to do with YOUR tax dollars. Please educate yourselves here. The teachers have absolutely no control over the spending decisions made by the board and/or TE administrators.

    It’s easy to lay blame on any one party. I would like you, the TE public, to look into ALL aspects of how we have arrived at this situation before painting one group as the sole creators of the problem.

    • To Concerned Teacher,

      I appreciate your thoughtful response. The administration-driven expenses are eye-opening – all of them presumably approved by the School Board. But administrators are members of your union, are they not? It seems (some) teachers are willing to throw administrators under the bus now while proclaiming themselves victims of unfortunate circumstances.
      To some extent, teachers are victims ( in the same way we are all vicitims of a severe economic downturn) , though no one is talking about salary cuts at this point. But the district’s healthcare and pension costs are areas where some adjustments could make a big difference. Also, teachers could limit their use of sick and personal days. I’m sure there are others. They CAN control some costs themselves.

      I hope teachers can understand why taxpayers struggling with their own finances might not support leaving the current cost structure in place. The image of an affluent family with 3 SUV’s n the driveway is not the reality for most living in the school district. And even if it was for some, times have changed.

      The repeated mention that the last teachers’ contract was negotiated before the ecnomy nearly collapsed doesn’t change the reality: we are all where we are now.

      Money has been spent unwisely with no concern for an economic downturn. They are sunk costs. Nothing can be done about them now.

      Hopefully, the administration, top heavy and generously paid as they may be, will feel the pressure to come up with significant spending cuts that will not negatively affect the quality of education in T/E.. …

      ….and teachers, parents and taxpayers will have their views respected in this process.

      • To T/E Mom-

        Thanks for reading and considering my position. To clarify for you, administrators are NOT part of our union and we have no idea how their salaries are decided upon and approved. Thanks-

        • Every administrator came from the PSEA and is a member of PSERS. They cannot collectively bargain as admins but all retain tenure and can return to the classroom at any time (except the Superintendent who has a contract by state law that removes tenure). Their salaries are a direct reflection of the teacher salaries –considering that teachers work 191 days a year for 7.5 hours a day contractually and administrators are 12 month employees who don’t get subs if they miss a day and don’t get to take the morning off if they have an evening meeting/conference. The differential between admin and teacher is designed to attract teachers to the job of admin…and I believe all but the superintendent and the director of student services have been teachers in the district before joining the admin staff (though a few might have come from outside at the building levels). To suggest that they do not care about teachers is simply another example of how teachers are making themselves VICTIMS when in fact it’s an economy that is causing issues.
          Teachers absolutely do not need to give anything back or renegotiate, but they also need to stay out of the conversation about how those who do see needs for cost reductions go about achieving them. If they won’t help solve the problem, then they need to stay out of it. They are not in partnership if they are not willing to share the pain.

  8. I agree with Roger. Pattye stated that she received the email without name and confidentiality statement. Other T/E parents have stated similarly that they received the teacher email without signature (except from the teacher who sent it) and no confidentiality statement. Regardless if that was the intent when someone sends an email to 500 people, in my opinion it becomes public the moment the send button is pushed.
    I am a Radnor Township teacher and a Tredyffrin resident. I wish that there were more people in Radnor Twp who took an interest in the school district as many of those commenting on this blog. I know all too well the economics of the situation and teachers in Radnor are learning if firsthand. As a taxpayer in the TESD, I am glad that there is forum such as this blog which encourages discussion from both sides. Perhaps if we had more discussion we could come to a better understanding and compromise. However, this situation is not being helped by the local union president and her misdirected rantings.

  9. I agree with looking at all aspects. But, whether you agree with it or not, the first area that must be looked at is the area which involves the largest spending on an annual basis – personnel costs.

    This is an important STARTING POINT for any discussions. Otherwise you are spending too much time and efforts discussing small expenditures which will not solve the issue.

  10. Radnor Teacher-

    Please tell the community members here how Radnor’s teacher salaries compare to T/E’s, if you dare? The obvious missing truth in this debate over the teacher contract is the fact that this present contract was so “lucrative” because T/E teachers were grossly underpaid in the middle compared to nearly every district around! I personally would have made $20-$30k more in many other districts.

    • So go work in another district. Do you think that you can raise the cost of pizza in Berwyn because they pay better wages in Gladwyne? Go find another job. Go work in another district. Radnor must be a great place — they have turned over superintendents 3 times and had a cheating scandal that could have wrecked the district. The kids there do well. Go to Lower Merion where the kids all have laptops — why not tell parents to move there….it’s easy to move around, right? And this isn’t about wages anyway — it’s about jobs. The district is going to cut costs and some of you are going to lose your jobs. That’s why you all are upset. WHo cares what you COULD make if you aren’t working. I could make millions if I worked on Wall St. But I don’t. And I cannot tell my boss that and have him care at all.
      It’s also about benefits — you contribute $1000 toward the cost of your benefits for FAMILY COVERAGE for a YEAR!!! I love that you think that’s a meaningful contribution. Our family pays that a MONTH toward health care that isn’t 10/20/35 co-pays. And teachers don’t have the same benefits everywhere — but many do because the union decides in Harrisburg (not at the bargaining table) what benefits they will accept and then holds a gun to the head of a board at the table..the strike gun. HOW did professionals become such victims? You went to college. You went to the college that accepted you. You got grades based on your work. Now you teach and you want to be “just like everyone else” regardless of your effort, your ability, or the district you choose to work in.

      • To Staying Anon:

        I appreciate your candor since I am then able to better understand how others feel regarding this situation. I am almost certain that no one on this forum, including yourself would honestly say you would not advocate for better compensation if you knew your competitors were paying much more and were producing an inferior product to our own. It surprises me that so many people say teachers should live in the real world/business world, but are outraged when teachers apply business forces to their compensation. Applying the real world logic, compensation should be dictated by the return. Am I wrong? Shouldn’t T/E teacher’s compensation be based upon what they produce/outcome and how this outcome benefits the shareholders(the T/E community)? Boards and CEOs of companies hand out handsome bonuses and pay packages based upon what the employees produce and how much it benefits the shareholders and this argument is used all the time to rationalize high pay, but now teachers argue that since they teach in a district that is always ranked among the top 5 in the state that their pay should reflect it. We never intended to get our compensation as high as LM or most Buck and Montco schools, but we did want to make sure our teachers were higher paid as a way to communicate appreciation for their hard work-isn’t this what they do in the real/business world?

        • This is well articulated, but I come at it with a slightly different perspective. Unions tend to cherry pick when they negotiate — pointing to whatever another district has/does that they do not have access to. For instance, Lower Merion will pay for 6 credit hours max in a school year, applied for in advance, and limited to the first $200,000. LM does not allow personal days for personal reasons. Yet when asking for some of the perks of a LM teacher, other districts most certainly do not offer to give up something they achieved. The PSEA meets annually in Hershey to create a model contract — “living wage” is the new buzz word — with the goal of starting every teacher in the state at $50K. They want to index compensation so that you get to “max” faster (career earnings) — but unlike the business world, they will not allow for differentiation of effort, ability or subject matter. Given the relatively abundant pool of applicants for elementary school, why would a district be forced to pay the same thing to that person as someone with a physics degree — when there are far fewer of those (and need for fewer indeed).
          Teachers have not applied business forces to their compensation. They have applied collective bargaining pressures. I have no problem with what you can negotiate at the table, but as long as there is the threat of a strike, it is not “business” forces.
          As to TESD being in the top five in the state (actually dropped this year below that), that is indeed to your credit, but it is also very demographically drawn. And one could suppose that you would review the salary schedules before applying for jobs and identify the pros and cons of each district. The culture here is very supportive of education –but this economy is bringing great economic pain to so many more residents than you all understand. It’s a matter of shared responsibility. Health care benefits went up far more than expected — and paying $1000 a year towards those benefits as a family is simply not shouldering your share of the cost. You want the best – you educate the best – you have resources and support. Perhaps we’ll save all the teacher jobs and simply lay off all the aides. We could cut busing from the budget — keep your jobs and make kids transportation to school at their own resources. Choices. Right now, the district is forced to consider choices to manage a budgetary crisis — NOT of anyone’s making. That’s what is missing in this debate. There is not always a reason to blame. But solving a problem is not optional — it’s mandatory. Teachers have an opportunity to be part of the solution to this cost problem –not just part of the reason for it. A “Demand to Bargain” letter over e-learning because it might mean jobs internally is not applying business forces. It is ignoring realities.
          The district has some choices to make and some problems to solve. Absent any offers from the teachers to solve these problems, many will lose their jobs. That’s the reality of business forces. We communicate appreciation for hard work by signing a paycheck. It’s not that simple, but for the foreseeable future, it will be that important. Stay on top of union information and keep sharing. Good luck and thanks for your feedback.

          • I relish the opportunity to have discourse and debate here! i believe many teachers are quick to judge because they forget that many parents and community members lack the facts and info that we know and vice versa.

            Staying Anon-
            I am curiuos what you mean by this quote:”As to TESD being in the top five in the state (actually dropped this year below that), that is indeed to your credit, but it is also very demographically drawn. ” Where is this info from? Also, not sure what you mean by the demo drawn? Please explain

  11. What a shame…Ms. Ciamacca is not helping her cause and has actually caused herself and her union more harm than good. I’m not going to trust any future emails or message from teachers on the budget because I know they are only selfishly interested in saving their own jobs, and not concerned about the poor example that they are setting for our children. What a huge disappointment. The sad thing is that the teachers could be part of the solution if they would stop focusing on themselves for one minute. I’ll be there on Monday night, and not wearing red. School board members – keep the tax increase low, many of us can no longer afford the high increases needed to maintain these teacher salaries.

  12. T/E Teacher – as someone else in a prior thread pointed out, you have to compare total compensation, not just salaries. Why haven’t you taken a job in Radnor? Because there are many, many fringe benefits that you receive in T/E that are not offered elsewhere.

    • People accept jobs where they can get them. Real world. Not more perks in TE — but it’s a choice to come to TESD to work. You can certainly change districts if you are in demand — or willing to take a lower step on their schedule.
      It is unfortunate that PSEA works to do contracts, but districts do not. As a result, we all chase each other’s schedules. And just as sadly, the ability to pay is not reflected in the assessed value of homes, which is where school taxes come from.

  13. chesterbrook parent-

    What fringe benefits are different than elsewhere? please explain. I do know than many districts around give a retirement bonus and healthcare up to 65 and T/E does not. We in TE do share costs for our healthcare. The healthcare we get is part of a consortium of other districts so they get the same benefits as us. So, I am not sure what these other fringe benefits are? Why have I not left T/E? Simple-it’s difficult to get a job elsewhere in teaching when you are not right out of college because you are “too expensive” but I like most of my colleagues have been trying.

  14. ADMINISTRATORS ARE NOT PART OF THE UNION! They are non-union, but do negotiate together for pay

    • Do not negotiate. “Meet and discuss” and if they don’t like it, they can leave. So could teachers — but instead, they can strike. So give it up. The admins were all teachers once. Don’t try to deflect onto them. WHy not talk to them since they were you once….and know your “pain” (apparently) . WHY do you teach if you feel you are so underpaid and under appreciated? Go work in Radnor or LM….oh wait — they aren’t hiring. Maybe THAT’s the issue we all need to address. You can work wherever you can get a job….but don’t try to change the place that hired you to suit your greed or envy of other districts.

  15. I find it interesting that the teachers are going to wear red. Poor choice of color when having a budget discussion.

    T/E Teacher, I like the feedback and info you provide, but “…it’s difficult to get a job elsewhere in teaching when you are not right out of college because you are “too expensive”… doesn’t help you make your larger point.

    • TBO-

      Thank you for your comment. To further explain…most school districts refrain from hiring experienced teachers since experienced teachers would make more than a teacher just out of college. Basically, teachers have to leave a district within the first 5 years or they will get stuck because administrators and school boards perfer to hire someone out of college making 45k versus a teacher with 5 years and masters which is around 55k.

  16. Pattye,

    I wanted to compliment you on your willingness to present all sides and attempting to remain as neutral as possible. I have sat back and read the many viewpoints and am still startled by the lack of facts from some posters regarding teachers and our intentions. I decided to post again today because I must confess I was offended and taken back by your reference to the fact teachers would use grades against the kids. However, you did admit that your feelings may be bias because the email was from the teachers and not parents. Thank you for providing a forum of discourse! I would appreicate it if you correct people’s misperception that we’re only fighting for jobs since few people are aware that T/E ALREADY CUT TEACHING JOBS! The district hired long term subs to replace contracted teaching positions this year with the intention of cutting these positions at the end of the year. This is around 15 teaching jobs. So, teaching jobs have been cut and the union did not protest this because of the financial situation. I just want the truth to be out there! For example, the 7th and 8th grades at the middle schools will be changed next year because it cuts teaching positions and therefore, cuts costs. Unfortunantly, there is a campaign of decpetion out there because parents and the community are told these changes are only because of “emerging technologies and federal/state mandates”. We as teachers were even told that anyone of us who thought these changes were because of money or the budget “were being disingenuous”, so Pattye help let the TRUTH be told to our community! Thank you, Pattye!

    • T/E Teacher and T/E Taxpayer —
      Thank you for understanding my position – I have tried to be as fair and balanced as possible. I do think the school district needs to be more transparent with its residents; I would particularly encourage more information available on the TESD School Board website.

      I am a big proponent in giving people all the facts and letting them draw their own conclusions. From my vantage point, part of the problem here is that we don’t have all the facts. So now we have the residents (and perhaps the T/E teachers) making their own assumptions, getting angry and continuing to spread misinformation. I’m glad that people like yourself are taking the time to ‘fill in the gaps’ with the facts. Thank you.

    • T/E Teacher,

      Could you provide more detail on the 15 teaching positions that were filled by long term substitutes? What happened to the teachers that were in those positions? What subjects were affected?

      • All teachers hired this year were hired as long term subs-around 22 teachers. Most were replacing teachers who retired or left the district. In the past, teachers who retired or left were replaced by a contracted teacher, not a long term sub. However, some of the long term subs this year were hired for teachers on maternity. The long term subs not for teachers on maternity will not be rehired so therefore, the teaching contract that existed will be lost/cut. The program changes in 7th and 8th will result in the need for fewer teachers so those hired this year will not be rehired. I hope I answered your ?

        • T/E Teacher,

          Can I say then that you were inaccurate when you said, “T/E ALREADY CUT TEACHING JOBS! “?

          It seems as though there is a potential to cut jobs by not extending permanent offers to long term substitutes, but no jobs have as of yet been cut. If the Board had the foresight to plan this way kudos to them.

          I think the teachers have a choice – the same number of moderately paid teachers or fewer highly paid teachers. I think your highly paid union leadership will have no problem sacrificing the jobs of 15 as of yet unknown teachers.

  17. To all of the teachers out there reading this blog,
    Please know that the words written here are the thoughts and comments of a few. I could take my time and write negative comments back to them but instead I chose to say thank you.
    Thank you for providing an education to our students.
    Thank you for taking care of our students everyday.
    Thank you for providing a positive influcence on our kids.
    Thank you for going above and beyond your job description and offering clubs and acitivities to enrich the lives of our students.
    You truly do make a difference.
    Many people may say that is your job – but it takes a truly special person to be a teacher – it truly is a calling rather than a job. Every TE teacher that I have ever come in contact with has impressed me beyond belief. There are many people out here that really appreciate what the teachers in this district do. You have helped make our district what it is today.
    I thank you from the bottom of my heart and hope that you can keep your chin up in these difficult times. We know you are doing a great job and that you will continue to do a great job. THANK YOU!!!

    • Wow..with tears in my eyes I thank you for everything you just said. We love what we do to the core of our being which is why we are so passionate about anything that could negatively impact the job with which we define ourselves. Thank you for being the SOLE person out there in this virtual discussion with a heart.

      • ‘Tears in my eyes . . . the SOLE person . . . with a heart’ —

        There are many Tredyffrin residents who have heart, we simply cannot afford a tax increase of 6-7%. Period. I have no agenda and wish no ill will on the teachers. I’m a single parent trying to make ends meet and I can’t afford that tax increase.

      • I think the real issue is in how your issues are being presented. Antagonistic and confrontational emails from your union president do little to advance your cause. In that same email, you president (Debra Ciamacca) – does not acknowledge the fact that half the deficit is for compensation and benefits – which have nothing to do with educational programs. To ignore that fact is to not be honest with the facts. You can say that is just me not having a heart. I simply comment on the facts as they are.

        I for one think most of the teachers do a great job. That said, in these economic times, we all have to tighten our belt – including those in your union.

        • I beg to differ… Without teachers you have no “educational programs”.

          • There will be teachers….If this current crop does not want to tighten their belts, I am sure there will be others who would like their jobs…

            I find it interesting that the teachers union on one hand, is advocating to save educational programs via a tax increase, yet on the other hand, would not save those same programs via cuts. Pretty much proves the point that all the union cares about is grabing as much money as they can..

  18. Bravo…”Can’t Afford Tax Increase”. I agree – many residents in T/E just can’t afford a tax increase over 2.9%. The teachers union, in their pleading for a giant tax increase, seem to ignore that fact. Perhaps if they offered some solutions, they could help the situation instead of hindering it. Please – no more sob stories about teacher jobs…help be part of the solution!

  19. Please do not add fuel to a fire by suggesting that those with financial issues do not respect or appreciate teachers. This district hires and keeps the best. The furloughs coming will be based on seniority, not merit, because that’s what the contract says. The furloughs coming are because the cost of doing business exceeds the ability to pay. As many people have said here — teachers absolutely have a chance to contribute to the problem solving, but not by taking furloughs personally. Something has to give, and the only thing in control is spending — cut programs or increase class sizes. Pretty clear. The unemployment rate in PA is 8.9% in December…that translates to 559,545 unemployed people in PA. The teachers have an opportunity to offer a solution — not just demand we raise taxes. So PLEASE don’t behave like a victim. Should instead the taxpayers be victimized by a tax structure their income cannot support?

  20. What a terrible email from Ms. Ciamacca… both of them.. She isn’t helping ANYONE. It certainly doesn’t help the teacher’s position. Wow, potentially alienating the parents who are the teacher advocates… dumb plan. Maybe the 70 – 80% of TESD taxpayers who don’t have kids in the district will fight for higher taxes in order to save TESD teacher jobs? I hope her tone is much different tonight otherwise she will deepen the division she has already aggravated…

    In my experience, as a TE student many years ago, and as a TE parent now, there are many, many, excellent teachers in the district. Some of these terrific teachers also lack meaningful seniority. In fact some teachers are truly a bargain with what they deliver to the kids daily and what they are paid relative to their more senior coworkers.

    Conversely, there are teachers in the district now, some with significant seniority who are poor performers, some were poor performers from day 1. Not a lot of them, but not an insignificant number either. The other teachers know who these teachers are, most of the parents probably know them too, especially if they taught your children at any time… These are the teachers most protected and are the ones who most benefit from the misrepresentation of the union.

    The union, by protecting poor performing teachers from performance review and reduction isn’t representing the interests of the many, many good teachers very well, and certainly isn’t representing the interests of a junior, high performing teacher AT ALL. Frankly, the union is more concerned with protecting the jobs of senior teachers than the quality of the educational program, and that is by design.

    Which teachers out there reading this blog and worried about their jobs would not be willing to be subject to performance review if reductions become necessity?? The likely answer: the poor performers with seniority… they are hurting us all…

    • Debra Ciamacca is a bully. Her “confidential” Email and comment here to Pattye make that clear.

      Does anyone believe bullies like Debra Ciamacca “would NEVER use grades to hurt children or parents”? As Shakespeare might write, “The lady doth protest too much, methinks.”

      TE Dad says it well: There are bad teachers in our schools, and they’re abetted by a vicious union that is concerned with nothing more than preserving the jobs and exceptional compensation of its senior members.

      To those teachers who claim to be concerned with the quality of their services, or the equitability of their compensation; or in serving the interests of the children and the public education system: Please stand up to the bullies who represent you.

      You will find that not only intimidated parents but even taxpayers are willing to pay up for good services.

      But the current union and teacher contract have nothing to do with performance and everything to do with the selfish interests of a rent-seeking cartel that has taken advantage of biased state labor laws to push taxpayers past their breaking point.

  21. Maybe the TTRC can raise funds in other townships to make up the budget gap of the TESD this year like they did for the fire companies.

    See you at the meeting. I hope someone from the TTRC gives a speech.

  22. At this point, it would be appropriate for Ciamacca to step down as president of the TEEA. It is up to either the rank and file membership to ask or for Ciamacca to do it under on her own. If she does not, it presents a huge distraction. Her email, as bad as it is, is really symptomatic of a bigger problem, and as such, should not get the focus. But, as long as she is the leader of the union, that is precisely what will happen.

  23. Responding to Pattye’s comments — all layoffs are done by seniority. Here’s the contract language
    1.083 Reduction in Staff
    1. If any professional staff is reduced, any resulting furlough shall occur in inverse order of seniority within the area of certification to which the Employee is currently assigned. When two or more Employees have the same seniority, the Employee being suspended will be the last Employee to sign an
    individual contract. If two or more Employees sign on the same day and have the same seniority, the Employee to be suspended will be determined by drawing straws.

    2. When furloughs of Employees occur, Employer shall realign Employees to ensure that more senior Employees are provided with the opportunity
    to fill positions for which they are certified and which are being filled by less senior Employees.

    3. Employer shall not fill vacancies for which new Employees would be hired if a one-move realignment could be accomplished, regardless of when
    or for what duration the Employee had taught in the other subject in which he/she was certified. This may be accomplished within the staff or by recall of a
    furloughed Employee.

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