"I think every teachers' union in the state wishes they had" a contract like Ann Arbor's, says Forsythe science teacher Dan Ezekiel. Negotiated two years ago, it called for small, temporary pay cuts and promised teachers more money if the district's fund balance--decimated in recent years by reduced state appropriations--improved. Even so, in late March union members turned out the president who negotiated the contract, Forsythe math teacher Brit Satchwell, in favor of former president Linda Carter.
Satchwell attributes his narrow (twenty-four-vote) defeat in part to Carter's campaigning much harder than he did. "I'm a political animal but not much of a politician," he admits. One veteran teacher speculates that teachers may have missed Carter's more personal touch. "My skills set tends to be getting out face to face," says Carter. In her previous terms, "I was out every day at buildings."
Satchwell admits he's disappointed but says he won't miss the job's frustrations. "Getting funded by the state is still like dancing with a large unpredictable drunk," he emails. There's "no telling which way they will lurch on a moment's notice."
[Originally published in May, 2012.]
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