Supporting Reform Through Union-Management Partnership

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U.S. Secretary of Education Arne Duncan and the presidents of the American Federation of Teachers and National Education Association today announced plans to host a national education reform conference on effective labor-management collaboration. They made the announcement at a forum celebrating the unique partnership between the Hillsborough County Teachers Association and Hillsborough County Public Schools.

Earlier, Secretary Duncan, AFT President Randi Weingarten, and NEA President Dennis Van Roekel met with  Hillsborough County teachers, school leaders, and union representatives at Rampello Downtown Partnership School.  The district and the union had a unique story to tell:  one of a long experience working together on a program that pays teachers for effective teaching and that uniquely positioned them to create a leading-edge teacher compensation plans.   It is particularly rewarding to hear about the success in Hillsborough County, where the district and the union have a strong record of working well together to improve education for all students.  “These districts show us what is possible when adults come together, particularly in tough times, to do the right thing for kids.  We need to learn from these successful collaborative efforts and build upon them across the country,” Secretary Duncan said.

At a press conference that followed, Duncan, Weingarten, and Van Roekel announced their plan to host their conference early next year to highlight examples of progressive collective bargaining agreements across the country and promote opportunities for management and labor to forge reforms at the state and district level.  

The leaders also acknowledged the work of the Gates Foundation, who in 2009, awarded Hillsborough Public Schools $100 million, the largest single education grant in its history. 

Laurie Calvert
Teaching Ambassador Fellow