Ok, please recall that I’m known as a “union guy” in my school since I’m on our local executive board when I say this: I don’t believe in striking. I’ve heard people across the state mention the word “strike,” often as hyperbole but mentioned all the same, and I say the same thing: no striking.
Besides, this is not the year. I highly doubt anyone will strike because of the total economic collapse in which we live, but the following year could be worse anyway in Washington State since there may be no stimulus money to help with the budgetary losses. I know my district cut $4 million dollars this year, but would’ve cut $8 million without stimulus money. There is no promise of help from the feds next year, and all of those districts who relied on the soft money of federal stimulus packages will be hurting even more soon–if the economy does not rebound in a hurry.
Still, if you feel you must make a stand and want to show the public, and the bosses, and the legislature what the money buys, don’t strike. Just work your contracted hours and go home. I have always maintained that a stirke looks bad in the public eye and makes teachers look greedy (even though I personally think it’s bunk, it’s the perception), so show everyone what a 7.5 hour work day looks like.
When you don’t write recommendation letters for those college-bound kids, don’t assign as much work, don’t grade what you assign, don’t attend unpaid meetings before or after school, don’t come to class adequately prepared, don’t get paperwork done on time, and so on, people will notice. I know that in my community the success of the upper level students, whose parents are the power players in the area, drives everything. No one runs to the aid of the most needy students in my district; there is no public outcry. But mess with Reginald Baker Thomas IV’s chances of getting into Super Private University back east, and influence (and affluence) arrives at the school door quickly.
Too heavy for a Mother’s Day? Hope not.