There’s no question that schools have been hit hard by massive budget cuts handed down by state policymakers. And although the national recession appears to have leveled out somewhat, the California budget picture is still dicey, and will probably stay that way through 2010-11. Now is the time when the importance of collective bargaining becomes magnified. Contract negotiations right now can make or break a district’s financial health.
That is why the upcoming 2010 ACSA Symposium for Negotiators is so crucial. Held Jan. 20-22, the symposium will inform, educate and upgrade the skills of management negotiators. It will provide immediate and practical answers for anyone involved in negotiations or who is part of a negotiating team.
The symposium has been moved from San Diego to the Sheraton Universal in Universal City, in what symposium co-chair Tom Addington, assistant superintendent, Central USD, called a cost-saving and convenience measure.
“The move to Universal City provided cost containment in reservations and accommodations over the San Diego venue, thus reducing the overall cost to participants for the event,” Addington said. “Also, in looking at locale and the ability for members to travel in to the symposium, the Bob Hope Airport is in close proximity to Universal City, and provides easy access for air travel.
“The Universal locale offers additional events for evening activities in which members can visit and network in a relaxing atmosphere.”
The theme for the symposium is “Changing Times: Transforming Negotiations.” Three proven expert keynoters in the area of negotiating will be on hand: Pat Godwin, superintendent of Folsom-Cordova USD; attorney Greg Dannis; and Ron Bennett of School Services of California.
“The theme of the conference, ‘Changing Times, Transforming Negotiations,’ promises to challenge educational leaders to think differently about the bargaining table and how negotiations can shape school and student success,” Addington said.
The Negotiators Symposium has long had a reputation of providing excellent negotiating strategies in light of current challenges. These strategies are ideal for both new and veteran negotiators, as well as their negotiating teams.
Throughout the event there will be two-and-a-half days jam-packed with workshops and sessions, all with lots of practical tips for dealing with negotiations. Indeed, the symposium is a learning opportunity that may save districts money in the long run.
“Even in tight budget and fiscal times, there are certain training events and professional development opportunities which should continue, as they directly relate to the work we do in schools,” Addington said. “The Negotiators Symposium is one of those events. Having a well trained and informed negotiation team provides the framework upon which school change and ultimately student academic success is built.”
For more information on the 2010 ACSA Symposium for Negotiators and Negotiation Teams, contact ACSA’s Educational Services Department at (800) 608-ACSA.