Thursday, February 22, 2018

West Virginia Mountain mamma, take me home Country roads

I see some of my colleagues salivating over the state teacher strike in West Virginia. Don't hold you breath here in NY. Maybe when the conditions of teachers are back to what they were in the 1950s when desperation drove teachers to unionize and be willing to break the law (it was outlawed when they first struck) - I was a high school senior - and not long after I was a teacher 5 years later striking on my first days on the job, followed by 3 strikes the next year and another 7 years later. It's not just the Taylor Law, which also guarantees our old contracts stay in place until a new one is negotiated -- and dues checkoff is another bribe to unions not to strike. It's what people have to lose. Top salary will soon be reaching $118,000. That's like walking around with a target on your back and with so many leaving this current generation may mostly not make it that far.

Here are 2 articles on the strike - Diane Ravitch and background from Mike Antonucci on the right who actually feels teacher strikes should not be outlawed - the libertarian view -- and he gives us some good background on the relationships between the 3 unions involved. It is posted at the horrible 74.

I always find Mike's takes from the right interesting as they touch on my own libertarian tendencies. That the NEA and AFT affiliates have been fighting is interesting news, as is the story of the disaffiliation -- usually the AFT goes after the disaffiliated with guns blazing.

Just Say No to Teacher No-Strike Laws

Three unions representing public school employees in West Virginia announced a two-day walkout this Thursday and Friday to protest low pay and health insurance benefits.
Solidarity among the three is significant, given that they have been at one another’s throats for years. AFT West Virginia and the West Virginia Education Association continued to battle for members and influence long after National Education Association and American Federation of Teachers affiliates in other states called a cease-fire. And the independent West Virginia School Service Personnel Association once belonged to AFT but disaffiliated in 2015.
The unions stated that an “overwhelming” majority of school employees across the state authorized the job action, though it failed to release numbers on votes or turnout.
There are several issues and complications for all involved.

Click here to read the rest.

West Virginia: Teachers Strike Across the State for Pay, Health Care

by dianeravitch
West Virginia teachers went out on strike across the state, closing down every public school.
“Teachers across West Virginia walked off the job Thursday amid a dispute over pay and benefits, causing more than 277,000 public school students to miss classes even as educators swarmed the state Capitol in Charleston to protest.
“All 55 counties in the state closed schools during Thursday’s work stoppage, Alyssa Keedy, a spokeswoman for the state’s Department of Education, said.
 “Work stoppages by public employees are not lawful in West Virginia and will have a negative impact on student instruction and classroom time,” West Virginia Superintendent of Schools Steven Paine said in a statement this week. “Families will be forced to seek out alternative safe locations for their children, and our many students who depend on schools for daily nutrition will face an additional burden. I encourage our educators to advocate for the benefits they deserve, but to seek courses of action that have the least possible disruption for our students.”
“Data from the National Education Association show that in 2016, West Virginia ranked 48th in average teacher salaries. Only Mississippi, Oklahoma and South Dakota sat below it in the rankings, which included 50 states and the District.

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