Perceived superintendent responsibilities and applied strategies in collective agreements
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The purpose of this study was two-fold: To explore superintendent responsibilities in reaching collective agreements with teacher organizations and to research and collect data on effective strategies superintendents use to achieve collective agreements with teacher organizations. The study was guided by the following three research questions: 1) What are the educational issues that are important to teacher organizations and superintendents? 2) What are the perceived responsibilities of superintendents to achieve collective agreements? 3) What are the strategies superintendents use to collaborate with teacher organizations? This was a qualitative study using a holistic, multiple case study approach (Miles and Huberman, 1994). Participants were purposefully selected to include two urban Texas superintendents, two school board members from each selected school district, and two active teacher organization representatives in the specified districts. Data was collected through interviews, observations, and analysis of the data. The interviews were coded utilizing an established coding system. This study revealed that while the educational issues important to both superintendents and teacher organization leaders are similar, the manner in which each respective party looks to address those issues differ. Both superintendents and teacher organizational leaders agree that working conditions and employee benefits matter for recruiting, hiring, and retaining school district staff. Participants recognized school districts border other school districts and compete for the same pool of employees. Therefore, by having favorable work conditions and competitive benefits that allows for families to meet economical demands, school districts will not only have a deep pool of quality candidates to select from; school districts are also more likely to retain the employee. Superintendents who use these findings may find the identified strategies will assist them in building operative working relationships with teacher organization leaders in order to foster collective agreements that yield positive outcomes for school staff and school district results.