It ain’t over ’til it’s over but it looks like the Marquette teachers’ contract dispute with the school board is moving closer to resolution.
It’s about time.
Union rep Stuart Skauge says a meeting between the two sides on Tuesday was the most encouraging they’ve had to date. They made progress. They’ll meet again May 29th.
Until now, the main obstacle to an agreement has been “steps” and “lanes” for teachers. “Steps” allow teachers, through seniority and experience, to increase their pay . “Lanes” provide a boost when the teachers further their education and boost their credentials.
Pretty basic stuff, common among school districts across the nation.
But the board wants to eliminate them. Surely, it seems, there’s got to be value in experienced and credentialed teachers. Why not reward them?
And it’s not like the teachers are demanding huge pay raises. Actually, their latest contract offer, prior to Tuesday’s meeting, was a zero percent pay raise the first year…and a zero percent pay raise the second year. Zero.
Just keep the steps and lanes, they say. Reward a teacher for her experience and her desire to further her education.
Yes, there’s an argument to be made for requiring greater accountability by teachers, and basing their pay more on their performance than their seniority. But until we come up with a fair and reasonable plan to do that, let’s move on.
Marquette prides itself on being an enlightened and family-friendly city. An eleven month old unresolved teachers’ dispute doesn’t enhance our reputation.
It also keeps about $10,000 a week out of teachers’ pockets. That’s money that would likely be spent here in the community.
It was dismaying to hear a couple of residents suggest on Wednesday that maybe the Upper Peninsula Community Rowing Club should just move out of Marquette and relocate instead to Teal Lake.
The comments came at a City Commission hearing on the club’s now controversial proposal to build a boathouse with private funds at Founders Landing.
Yes, it is public land and we’re all for preserving the coastline, but 60 foot boats need to be stored somewhere, out of the weather and away from possible vandals, and the boathouse, as designed, would not block any views and it would not hinder access to the beach. And it would be open to all residents.
And let’s be honest, this isn’t a Hilton or a Red Lobster or a T-shirt shop they’re proposing to build. It’s a boathouse.
If the Founders Landing site is too objectionable, fine. Come up with another location where the water’s not too rough and there’s enough room to turn the big boats around. The options are extremely limited.
But let’s not suggest that these active, community-minded rowers who actually enhance our coastline should just pack up their boats and get out of town.
What’s the first thing you think of when you hear the word “Carhartt”? It’s probably not beer.
But later this year, the famed clothing maker, in conjunction with the New Holland Brewing Company, will be introducing a new Carhartt beer. It’ll be called the Carhartt Woodsman, a barrel-aged pale ale.
Beer and sturdy work clothes–a natural fit.
We’ll be celebrating the introduction of the new brew this October outside Breakers Roadhouse on Baraga Avenue.
A big party. Wear your Carhartts, drink your Woodsman.
Speaking of Carhartt, Getz’s, one of the biggest online distributors of Carhartt clothing in the nation, recently got a boost from the clothing company.
Carhartt announced that, starting June 1st, Amazon will no longer list about 40 Carhartt stores carrying their clothes. Instead, they’ll list only five stores, and Getz’s will be one of them.
That’ll give Carhartt more control over their product distribution, and it’ll drive more business to Getz’s.
Filson, the maker of upscale clothing and bags, recently worked out a similar deal on Amazon with Getz’s.
Marquette’s favorite clothing store continues to flex its muscles around the nation and around the world.
No surprise here.
The Carmike theater complex is shutting down June 5th. No point in trying to compete with the fancy, new complex on the other side of town.
One of the managers at Carmike says none of her employees were hired by the new theater, so they’re out of jobs.
As for the building itself, it’s hardly an architectural gem. Basically a box. It’d be surprising if it wasn’t razed.
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