The Importance of Union & Superintendent Relationships

Chances are you’ve watched the cinema classic “The Godfather” before. If you haven’t, there is a great scene where  Marlon Brando is talking to Al Pacino and other “members of the family” about relationships. 

Before I go any further, no, education is not a correlation to mafia ties 🙂

It IS, however, based on relationships.

The scene above has several heads together talking about issues at hand and how to move forward. The relationships in this scene are crucial for the entire operation to work. The family in the educational setting is just as important. The stakeholders sitting at the educational table:

  • Superintendent / central office
  • Maintence / operations
  • Administrators
  • Business Administrator
  • Teachers
  • Parents
  • Students

But most importantly – the President of the Union.

Yes, the Union President and the Superintendent need to have a superb, open, honest relationship. Why? So many reasons, but my top three are:

  • The ability to fix issues as they arise (i.e. Before molehills turn into mountains).
  • The opportunity to alleviate that “us vs them” mentality.
  • The chance to collaborate and openly focus on a uniform message of positivity.

In my last District, the Union President and I had a great relationship. Sadly, it drove those that are angry, bitter, disenfranchised, or just plain useless crazy. They could not wrap their heads around people working together. We did, we did it well, and we accomplished a hell of a lot, despite what they naysayers (clearly not informed) thought of it.

In my new District, the officers of the new Union met and had a long lunch at a diner (remember, I’m in NJ, the diner epicenter). We laughed, we threw cards on the table, and we left excited. We have challenges ahead, and at some point we will probably disagree, but we’ve begun on a great foot. I hope those looking to move upward follow my lead. It will make your life much easier.


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