Life is all about negotiations. Whether you are married or with a partner or in a job or have kids- life is all about negotiating. You negotiate when you are going to get married, what dress you will wear, what you want your ceremony to be like. Once you are married or with someone you negotiate on where you will live, who will quit their job to take care of the kids or will you hire a nanny or daycare? You negotiate when you apply for a job and accept it- how much will you get paid? How many sick days? Kids- well they are negotiating all the time- for bedtime, or what they want for dinner. Life is full of negotiations.
So what happens when those negotiations go badly. It’s happened to me. I had to choose not to take a job because we could not meet in the middle. We had to compromise on our wedding date because the church negotiated a different day that worked better for the priest. Our kids constantly compromise on dinner (they are picky- sigh…). And lately in our town there has been a lot of talk about negotiations between our School District (D15 Palatine, IL.) and the ESPA union (for support staff- think nurses, secretaries, and program assistants). The negotiations fell apart at 5:30am this morning and my friends and people I deeply care about will be on strike as of this morning. I support their decision to strike but that’s really not my place.
My place is with my 2 kids, both of whom have medical issues. One son is in a wheelchair- does this mean there is no nurse there? Does this mean that if he needs help he won’t receive it? My daughter who is medically stable right now gets her work enlarged by the amazing support staff. Will that not happen? (her teacher is in crutches right now so I fear she will not get anything enlarged and that is OK- I can fix it at home) but I worry.
Parents should not have to worry about their children at their schools. It shouldn’t have gotten this bad. I do not think they are asking for too much- the ESPA union but as a business person I feel for the brand new board in D15. They have one pot of money and a contract for the teachers which is a 10 year contract and signed before they came on the board is taking up a lot of that money and there isn’t enough left to give ESPA all that they want. That’s the reality. It’s hard but true.
What will happen? I do not know. I do know that I am sending both kids to school with cell phones and I will come get them if needed. I will also consider keeping them home til the strike is over and we are assured by Superintendent that we will not be penalized.
So yeah- negotiating can get real. I hope that in your life compromise is a larger part of the conversation because that is what will make your marriage strong, your partnership solid, the relationship with your kids in fine shape and any job will benefit from compromise.
Have a great Monday folks- I’m getting my carpets cleaned so I am simply giddy!