From the Bargaining Room, Hard to Know Hanson is Gone

Today is an important milestone in the Fresno Teachers Association’s contract negotiation with Fresno Unified School District. Today marks the exact halfway point of negotiations under the leadership of Bob Nelson and his predecessor, Michael Hanson.

Contract negotiations started 430 days ago under Michael Hanson and continued until board trustees terminated his contract on January 30th, 2017. Since that time, Bob Nelson has served as acting and now interim superintendent, before recently being named superintendent finalist.

There’s no doubt that Mr. Nelson has better relational capacity than his predecessor, but kind words, handshakes, and selfies do not equate to the actions needed to improve the learning environments for our students and educators. What is needed is for someone with Nelson’s personality to ALSO demonstrate his leadership ability by addressing the overwhelming concerns of educators within FUSD. That simply has yet to happen. Here’s a comparison of negotiations under the leadership of Bob Nelson and Michael Hanson.

Hanson Nelson Chart Compare

As you can see, it’s hard to tell that Hanson ever left. We still have no response on many of our important proposals aimed at creating positive systemic change for our students. We still have educators frustrated with district policies, which silences their voice in the education of their students. We still have people at the top levels of this district who choose to misguide the public on finances. In addition, the district’s budget reserve has grown dramatically.

Mr. Nelson needs to understand that our hope in his ability to make the needed systemic changes in FUSD is fading. He needs to take action now because tomorrow, day 216, marks an even bigger milestone…the day this contract negotiation becomes more a reflection on his leadership than his predecessor’s.

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