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Friday, January 25, 2008

Teachers on Strike

Should teachers have the right to strike?
Basically, that is the question being posed in the Judy's Jewels blog entry Prohibit Teachers Strike? in which she also has linked to Senate Bill #264 that proposes to change the present collective bargaining laws in the State of Ohio.
I ask another question to those that believe teachers should not be allowed to strike. If teachers should not be allowed to strike, then why should any group of employees be allowed to strike? Why should some unions be allowed to strike but not all unions? Why should there be a doulble standard? Don't give me this taxpayer crap, either. Whether we pay taxes or we purchase goods and services in private industry, we all are paying the cost of goods and services. Any increase in costs always gets passed down to us either in our role as taxpayer or our role as customer or consumer.
And by the way, I know of NO UNION that really desires to strike. That is always the very last resort and almost always comes about when the employer (private or public) refuses to bargain in good faith. After all, the workers' very livlihoods depend on that paycheck. Why would any employee purposely and without just cause desire to throw that to the wind? It seems to me that we should hold employers, including Boards of Education, more accountable than what is generally the case.
Maybe the elected officials and their appointed public administrators and managers as well as corporate CEOs and their managers should be removed from their positions whenever they do not bargain in good faith with their employees.
Or maybe, we should just return to the days of slavery, serfdom, indentured servants, sweat shops, substandard wages, inhumane working conditions, and the like!
What say you?

By the way, Roland's Ramblings has an entry you may wish to read entitled American Labor Unions.


jrs said...

There's a certain momentum to learning (as I'm sure you are aware, Mr. Hansen) and to purposefully disrupt the learning process for any uncertain and significant amount of time once it has started to settle a financial dispute is irresponsible.

It's incumbent upon the a teacher's collective bargaining unit to settle up in such a way as to not be at the expense of the student. Teachers unions are unlike others unions as the product of their labors are often intangible and unique. To compare them to other unions is short-sighted, narrow-minded and inappropriate.

I come from a long line of Teamsters and enjoy a satisfying lifestyle in large part because of my union's efforts to provide. I've long thought that the issue of teachers striking was simple, a "no-brainer", if you will.

I guess I was wrong. Yikes !

Roland Hansen said...

I have been both an instructor and a three-time elected member of a Board of Education. I have also been an officer of AFSCME at the local, regional, and state levels. Additionallly, I have been a professional public administrator.
I put forth that it is incumbent upon the administration and the Board of Education to bargain in good faith. If they do so, educators will not even contemplate a work stoppage.
Having sat on both sides of the collective bargaining table, that to me is a no brainer.
Having been a union member yourself, I think you know the importance of just having the possibility of the strike as a bargaining tool.

Lisa Renee said...

My first thought when I heard about this legislation was how often does this become an issue where we need to legislate away the ability for teachers to strike. While of course a strike does disrupt the educational process when you think about here in Toledo when the last time there was a teachers strike in comparison to how many contracts have been negotiated it would seem that the only time a strike has happened is when there was not good faith bargaining.