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Here we go bashing teachers unions again (Original Post) bigdarryl Aug 2013 OP
We still have unions? Smarmie Doofus Aug 2013 #1
Yeah. Igel Aug 2013 #2
One thing I always consider.... Wounded Bear Aug 2013 #3
Why do you say unions are reactionary? Smarmie Doofus Aug 2013 #4
I think you answered your own question.... Wounded Bear Aug 2013 #7
Not many people go into teaching to make "the big bucks." Smarmie Doofus Aug 2013 #5
Last I checked, Democratic Platform was pro-union, not pro-blue collar union Drahthaardogs Aug 2013 #10
republican plan is to kill off public schools and go private 'for profit'. Sunlei Aug 2013 #6
Don't look now but that seems to be the Democratic plan also. n/t Smarmie Doofus Aug 2013 #8
what political party do you think is anti-union in this country? Sunlei Aug 2013 #9


(35,125 posts)
2. Yeah.
Sat Aug 17, 2013, 02:54 PM
Aug 2013

I have mixed feelings about the teacher's union.

The steelworkers' union my parents belonged to never went on strike with the claim they wanted to make higher quality steel. They never wildcatted to increase the amount or the adherence to specifications. Never did they claim to have the steel's interest at hearts, nor to be fighting for the consumer of steel.

They struck for higher wages, safer conditions, more benefits, more control over their own schedules, more representation, or lighter workloads.

The teachers' unions I see always claim something like the first: They strike for higher quality education, they strike for better teaching, they strike with the children's interest at heart and to help the parents. But in the end they usually actually demand higher wages, on occasion safer conditions, more benefits, more control over their lives, more representation, and lighter workloads.

Sometimes there's a direct connection: Lighter workload can = fewer students; among low SES students fewer students = easier classroom management = more engagement and that allows greater learning.

Sometimes the connection psychic and can never be uttered. "Pay me more and I will work harder. Yes, I said that last time, but I sort of slacked off." For many teachers it's not an accurate connection. Pay them more and they won't work harder; they're already maxed out.

In some cases it's true--then again, I know a teacher making $80k/year, wife also works, and they're just scraping by on $150k/year so he mows lawns evenings and weekends to supplement his wages. I'd like more money. I'm a teacher. On the other hand, I'd really rather my current pay increase went for other things--more equipment in the classroom, another teacher so I have more planning time, possibly textbooks.

Wounded Bear

(58,259 posts)
3. One thing I always consider....
Sat Aug 17, 2013, 03:19 PM
Aug 2013

How did things get so bad that teachers felt the need to unionize in the first place?

Labor unions tend to be reactionary. Happy workers don't unionize. The assault on schools and education has been going on for decades now and the union bashing aspect of it is just the latest RW craze.

The next time you hear someone say something like the old "Those that can, do; those that can't teach" you have my permission to bop them on the head. (Not really, of course, but you get my drift)


Smarmie Doofus

(14,498 posts)
4. Why do you say unions are reactionary?
Sat Aug 17, 2013, 04:19 PM
Aug 2013

How did things get so bad that teachers felt the need to unionize in the first place?
Labor unions tend to be reactionary.>>>

The reverse is much more often the case. Unless you're referencing the VN-George Meaney period... which was an historical anomaly.

And teachers unionized because they received miserable pay and had no job security. ( Pretty much the same reasons everybody forms unions.)

Wounded Bear

(58,259 posts)
7. I think you answered your own question....
Sun Aug 18, 2013, 05:42 PM
Aug 2013

Unions are 'reactionary' in the sense that they form as a reaction to poor working conditions and pay.

As I said, happy workers don't unionize.


Smarmie Doofus

(14,498 posts)
5. Not many people go into teaching to make "the big bucks."
Sat Aug 17, 2013, 04:47 PM
Aug 2013

If they do... they're stupid and probably become administrators within the first 5 years. ( It occurs to them: "Like, uhh, this is HARD.&quot

Most teachers like kids, like the relative autonomy that teachers ( used to) have, the chance to develop intellectual interests that would be denied them in a typical corporate office and ... at least in a lot of cases .... like the fact that their work schedule follows the school calendar.

So... you're right, the idiotic merit pay schemes floated by these corporate "reform" geniuses ( who are completely convinced that everybody n the world thinks EXACTLY the way THEY do) are dead in the water; completely lost on teachers.

I think you have teachers clamoring for better schools for kids because that IS in their own material self interest as well. It sounds self serving because it IS self serving. But in fact, the interests of both consumer and provider tend to be aligned on many issues in education ( not by any means ALL) and pretty much ALL of the biggies: safe schools, good funding, classrooms and curricula that *work*, limited bureaucracy, and administrators who understand teaching and learning. These things help EVERYONE.

We haven't had a raise in NYC since.... I think.... 2009, and are not going to get one soon. But that's far from what teachers here are worried about these days. They're worried about being fired over nonsense, having no real union, and being worked to exhaustion ( i.e. burnout) by "reform"-generated paperwork and statistic-gathering.


(22,651 posts)
6. republican plan is to kill off public schools and go private 'for profit'.
Sun Aug 18, 2013, 11:29 AM
Aug 2013

take ALL the federal/state taxpayer public school money they can get, as 'vouchers.'

If they can't kill the unions they won't hire union teachers in their private schools.

We've been trying to save billions in text-book costs by starting to use a tablet for every child. Then books can be changed, upgraded much easier, faster and cheaper. we're still on the old 7-9 years for text book up grades.

The usa is very far behind other schools around the world. Many countries don't use text books any more.

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