Monday, March 30, 2009

March 30: Bravo, Carvalho; Back Down, UTD

By Sylvia Gurinsky

I was wrong.

Contrary to my prediction, Miami-Dade School Superintendent Alberto Carvalho not only has not disgraced himself on the job, but he's doing quite well, thank you. The latest example is his commendable decision to waive six days of pay and $30,000 in benefits to help keep district workers on the job.

Four school employee unions have agreed to give up several work days for the remainder of the school year to save money for the district. United Teachers of Dade, at least so far, is not among them. When Rudy Crew was superintendent and UTD battled with him and the school board, the union looked to be ahead of everyone else; that has changed with a worsening economy and Carvalho and the other unions' actions.

UTD, which cleaned up its reputation very nicely after the mess Pat Tornillo left, is losing the political capital and goodwill it had and gaining a negative reputation with its current hardheadedness.

Even the Broward Teachers Union seems to be backing down for now and accepting the contract that county's school district is offering.

There are times to pick battles. For United Teachers of Dade, now - at least with Carvalho - is not that time.

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