Category Archives: Union

Already? Really?!

When I woke up today I already had a message on my phone asking for assistance. No, I did not get up late or at noon; it was 8:00 am!

Such is life when you take on leadership roles.

I went to the school today and worked for a little over three hours. I helped two teachers write their syllabi, sent out some examples to teachers, provided a teacher a few more vocabulary lessons, and then worked on my stuff. Sometimes it seems like my work hours aren’t for me but for the benefit of others. Sigh. At times, teachers are no different than the students: they want what they want and they want it now and they don’t care what I’m doing now. I used to have a sign that read “Let me drop everything and work on your problem” and I miss that sign sometimes. :)

I did start a presentation for my local school district on the effects of pay freezes on employee take-home pay. Teachers in my state have lost between $13,000 and $26,000 over the last six years because of pay freezes, pay cuts, and shortened work calendars. Yikes! I haven’t finished the presentation, but I did figure out the numbers for it.

Then, I worked on updating my syllabi as well as updating my opening week reading and writing assessments. Nothing exciting here except that I decided to change my syllabi into more of a press release format than the typical outline format. I’m curious how the kids react to it.

Once this was completed I mapped out a draft of a meeting schedule for my department’s collaboration time. Since we’re re-aligning our courses to one another and to the Common Core standards, we need to organize the meetings to allow as many people to collaborate as possible. It’s not exciting but needs to be done.

Lastly, I double checked my certification classes. I didn’t need to do much here except see which if my classes have been counted towards my next certificate. While this doesn’t sound taxing, it is tedious because I have to go through my district’s accounting system to see what I’m credited with here and compare this to what the state has me credited with. I need to figure out how to ensure my National Board status is recorded on the state system.

I’m ready to start reviewing my beginning of the year novels, but my area of the building is closed down while the cleaning crews finish. The guys are behind schedule and doing their best, but with staff cuts the last few years and an ever-increasing duty list, the guys are overworked right now. Looks like I won’t get into my classroom until next week.

I cam home and read five education articles. Nothing really jumped out at me this time. More than anything, it looked like a slow news day with the bulk of the content centered on budget updates and construction progress. I only spent about 30 minutes reading the articles.

A War Has Started

Have you seen the video where Scott Walker, Governor of Wisconsin, expresses his strategy to destroy collective bargaining for public employees? Here it is:

The way to destroy unions is to eliminate collective bargaining, which will benefit corporations (who generally support only one side of the aisle). And, it only makes sense. If your interests are to make corporations more powerful and profitable, then paying workers less and reducing their opportunities to vote is a viable strategy.

Get active in your locals to campaign ahead of time. Don’t wait until after a bad election to get active. You might become Ohio or Wisconsin or Idaho.

Unions and the Middle Class

Looking at the chart I provided, it is easy to see the link between unionization and the prosperity of the middle class. However, contemporary society finds it in vogue to blame unions and to try and dismantle them.

The destruction of unions results in the lowering of hourly and salaried incomes, the reduction in employee rights and benefits, and the increase in the number of years needed to retire.

I freely admit that some unions are better than others, and I do not agree 100% with my own association; however, what organization acts in accordance with 100% of anyone’s views? Ultimately, unions are a net gain for workers.

Protect your fellow worker and you protect yourself.