Brian Cesare, a top official of Douglas County Schools involved in contract negotiations with the teachers union, refuses to comment on his leadership of a company that specializes in “union avoidance.”
Cesare, the district’s chief human resources officer, is the only person listed in some key public documents for PeoplePerfect LLC. The company is based in the Albuquerque suburbs, where Cesare owns a large home. Cesare is listed as the agent and organizer of the company, and government filings by PeoplePerfect that include a physical address either list the home he currently owns or his former address.
PeoplePerfect’s website and Cesare’s LinkedIn page both list him as managing director of the company, and both tout his experience in “union avoidance.”
Union team members feel many of the district’s contract proposals are anti-union, and have several times accused the district of trying to fatally hobble the union.
District spokesperson Randy Barber said Cesare is no longer employed with PeoplePerfect, and that both Cesare’s company Web site and LinkedIn profile are outdated.
“I can’t say he doesn’t offer any consulting,” he said. “He works full-time for DCSD.”
But when pressed for comment about his involvement with PeoplePerfect, Barber said Cesare declined.
“With open negotiations and the meeting, he’s been busy,” Barber said in an email.
He later said Colorado Community Media should not expect a call from Cesare in the future.
Barber said Cesare’s experience in union avoidance isn’t reflected in the ongoing negotiations.
“Union avoidance isn’t the effort to get rid of the union,” he said. “It’s more on the front end. His company is in a situation in which they want to try to avoid having a union start. It’s not an effort to try to get rid of a union once a union starts.
“It’s definitely been contentious with the teachers union. But if the proof is in the pudding, having them negotiate a (collective bargaining agreement) proves they’re not anti-union. If they were trying to get rid of all unions, they could have gone a different tack with the ATU.”
The ATU is the Amalgamated Transit Union, a 4oo-member group of bus drivers and mechanics with which the district recently negotiated a new contract.
Cesare has cited his experience as an HR director at Microsoft and General Electric. He is a certified mediator, arbitrator and compensation professional, according to his LinkedIn profile, with training in organizational development, change management and union avoidance consulting. PeoplePerfect offers a range of human resources services, include consultation to start-up organizations, attraction and retention and organizational effectiveness.
Other negotiations team members include the district’s chief financial officer Bonnie Betz, assistant superintendent of secondary education Dan McMinimee and assistant superintendent of elementary education Chris Cutter.