Autumn in the North Cemetery.

Sixty miles west of Boston, Massachusetts there is the small New England town of Sturbridge. Located at the junction of I-90 (The Mass Pike), and I-84 it has become known as the "Crossroads of New England". The town was first settled over 300 years ago, and like other small New England towns it has grown just enough over the years to be in a difficult place today. How do we embrace the future without forgetting how we got to our present? How do we attract the right kind of growth, and maintain who we are? And, what about our culture out here in Central Massachusetts?

These pages will cause one to think about how to protect what we have, our future direction, and how to move on in the very best way.

Those thoughts, and other ramblings, will hopefully inspire more thought, conversation, action, and occasionally a smile...

...seems to be working so far

Thursday, December 31, 2009

"It's All About Me" Votes Teachers Union

I was reading that the teachers union at Tantasqua Regional High School voted not to accept furloughs in order to help close the gap in the school budget. As a result there will be layoffs.

One temporary, for one day, the other permanent, and forever. In these tough economic times an act like this speaks of one thing: selfishness.

I know that times are tough. We feel it. Everyone is feeling it, but when we turn on our survival mode, and aim it only on ourselves there is something wrong.

The furlough would mean everyone going ONE day without pay. One day. The teachers union voted no, and showed how insular they are as a whole. "It's all about me." should be printed on t-shirts and worn by the teachers that voted to insure that their coworkers will loose their jobs instead of everyone loosing one days pay.

We recently had sixteen layoffs at the hospital I work at in Boston. We had a similar number last year at this time. This year is different, though, all of us that survived have been assigned THREE furlough days to take in the upcoming year.

Three days.

And, the amazing thing about it it was there has been a minimal amount of negative talk about the furloughs. You see, it is pretty obvious to us, if it were not for the furloughs the layoffs would have been far greater.

Maybe it's a different mindset, but what ever it is it is still a fairly simple thing, no work for a day, or no work for a lot longer. Doesn't take a a genius to figure out what is better.

The situation I am experiencing in Boston is not only a result of the economic downturn, but other factors as well. Doesn't really matter, though. It is all the same in the end.

The Superintendent Daniel Durgin said he was disappointed in teachers vote. I'd say that was quite the understatement. I am disappointed as well, but more shocked. The "It's all about me" culture is often associated with teachers groups, and this only confirms it. Individually, it may be different, but as a group, it 's not.

The teachers will work without interruption this year. Next year may be different.

In the meantime, my heart goes out to those being laid off, their New Year is not starting off too brightly.

We can thank the teachers union for that. They are only doing their job, I guess, and have taught us all a little life lesson in charity.

You can be sure this is one lesson I will forget.


  1. Why didn't Dan Durgan show leadership and take furlough days for himself, his 2 assistants and staff? Then maybe the teachers would have followed. To ask teachers to take furlough days and not take any yourself is not right. Lead by example.

  2. Dear anonymous, it is about the teachers, not the assistants, custodians, or the leader. The leader led, he gave an option to the teachers. One selfless, the other selfish. The teachers chose the selfish choice. He set a great example, the teachers did not step up. Unless the teachers change their decision I will have a very difficult time taking thing s they say seriously in the future. When we become so "all about me" the world looses respect in a hurry.

  3. Why should the students and teachers sacrifice because the Governor of Massachusetts cut the transportation budget? Let the voters decide if they want to make up the difference or let programs be cut. Many programs were cut as a result. The voters never got a say the school committee just cut,cut,cut.

  4. It is because the school committee can, can, can that's why. Everyone has to sacrifice in this economy, of course, except the teachers.

  5. It is the height of talking out of both sides of your mouth. Teach the kids good things, and then practice something totally different. Next time the teachers mention how Americans rallied together during the great depression, or during WWII, or during other times of stress, they can use themselves as what not to do during times like that. Screw everyone else as long as I am taken care of. what a group!!

  6. Very, very, very sad. Apparently "kindness" wasn't in the cards for a New Year's resolution for our town's teachers!

  7. Governor Deval Patrick reversed his decision to cut transportation funding for Regional Schools. So everything that got cut no longer has to be cut. But the superintendent of schools has stated he will NOT restore the programs eliminated. Shame on him.

  8. it goes beyond transportation funding. it is a simple matter of no money for most anything. things need to be cut, and the state is not going to help. teachers need to think long term, because next year it may be them that is on the outside looking in.

  9. It should be noted that Durgin and most administrators did agree to a one-day furlough.

    Second, programs such as freshman basketball and JV cheerleading were cut. In the middle of basketball season, you can't reverse that cut.

  10. It was not in the middle of the basketball season. It was the begining. They can pick a team in 2 days like they did for varsity and JV. As for JV cheerleading the team is already picked just let them cheer.


Anonymous comments not accepted, and will be rejected. Please use your full name. Choose "Name / URL" and enter your name, and your name ONLY. Leave "URL" blank.