Thursday, September 15, 2005

Please do not feed the Coaches

Well, the coaching salaries are finally coming to a head. Here's a little background.
Late last year, the Union negotiating team and the school district came to an agreement that coach’s salaries would be a top priority if money came available. The coaches in the district have not had a raise since 1991. Currently, schools in our league make 2-3 times our coaches salaries. Plus, Santa Rosa schools go on one, hour long road trip (to us). We go on 12-15 road trips, each over an hour long. Early this year, a little over $2 million was “found” by the school district. To my understanding, the district and the union had created an agreement that would phase in an increase of coaches salaries over 2-3 years. Our salaries would then be comparable to the other coaches in our league.

The motion to vote on our salaries was "tabled" by the School Board, meaning they refused to vote on it. Basically, they have decided to ignore the coaches because they have not found them to be a priority. The union is currently looking into violations of negotiations because the pay raise agreement was made in good faith.

Some coaches have called for a meeting on Monday. At this meeting, we will vote on whether or not to strike, starting on the week of Homecoming. It must start on this week because it gives the school board a chance to meet and resolve the issue. If they refuse to resolve the issue, the strike would start with Homecoming week, and continue until there is appropriate resolution. This strike would include all coaches, for all sports.

Ouch. Homecoming around Ukiah is the most popular event of the school year. So we as coaches have some decisions to make. I'm the President of the Coach's Association, but only a freshmen coach. The heat will not be on me, it will be on the head of the programs.

Go read the article in the Ukiah Daily Journal and give me a little advice. Currently, I am inclined to vote for the strike, but I have very little to lose. I'm an on-campus teacher, I'm a freshmen coach, I'm not in season, and I run a good program. But my goal is to create a competitive, classy and professional sports program at Ukiah High School. Is this action taking us forward, or dragging us farther back?
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