The intention is for the majority of key decisions to be made at the school site.
– The district and the union have a long history of collaboration grounded in the interest-based process, and extended into a model Helena calls "consensus negotiations." The "consensus negotiations" process is ongoing; with the direction and approval of the board, employee groups and administration work together to create solutions to issues of mutual interest.
– The district has an Education Cabinet, which meets monthly to act as a think tank to advise the superintendent on issues related to program improvements.
Three teacher representatives and the union president serve as members of the cabinet.
The contract creates two labor-management committees – the Joint Oversight Committee and the Joint Governing Panel – to develop and facilitate the various components of the contract.
– The district and the union have created a contractual basis for a labor-management partnership.
For many years, the district and union have developed a close working relationship that includes regularly scheduled problem-solving meetings, as well as union representation on all district committees and union input into textbook adoption.
– Each of the three association contracts is developed in a climate of interest-based bargaining and includes provisions, through institutionalized committees, for ongoing discussion in areas of concern.
All three associations are represented on district leadership teams, including those that revise the school system's strategic plan and associated annual performance targets, as well as on leadership teams providing input to the development of the operating budget.
All union contracts support a commitment to a culture of continuous improvement, mutual respect, and a shared responsibility for employee success and student achievement.