Sunday, October 17, 2010

Nerd News: Teachers' Union Skulduggery in Massachusetts

CONTEMPTIBLE (via Betsy Newmark, an AP History and Government teacher in North Carolina):
In Wrentham, Massachusetts, the teachers and the school board have not been able to reach an agreement on salary disputes. The teachers are demanding a 28% increase over the next three years. No community can afford that sort of jump in payroll even in the best of times. The teachers union hasn't called a strike because that would be illegal and they'd be liable for fines. But they have decided to take what actions they can in order to put pressure on the school board. They're refusing to work with students on independent study classes that they'd previously agreed to. They're not entering grades into a system that allows parents to check on their children's grades. But most unforgivable of all, teachers are refusing to write recommendations for seniors applying to college.
A 28% increase?  In the depths of a massive lingering recession?  Are these people mad?  Still, the worst of it all is the willful use of students as what amounts to little better than hostages.  More from an editorial in the Boston Globe:
... it’s utterly reprehensible that any teacher anywhere put students in the middle of a negotiation. We know teachers should be paid better, but towns are strapped. Parents are losing jobs and taking pay cuts. Nobody can afford higher taxes and princely raises.
So some teachers are throwing petty little tantrums, hurting students they are supposed to help, and giving a bad name to a very honorable profession.

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