Monday, December 25, 2006

Union Bouquet #8: Holiday Edition

Blue Mass Group gets it right.

Harvaaaaard teachers are workin' to the rule! (No silly, not that Harvard.)

Ashtabula Teachers Association now has strike authorization. Update: I must have missed it, but then they reached a tentative deal. A strike during Christmas would not have been fun.

Can you believe I found this on the EIA website? It's old, but man...

Was I the only person who missed this press release from AFT regarding Diane Ravitch's findings on why unions are necessary? Even small-schools millitant Mike Klonsky saw it before I did...I think.

What would it take for all the teachers in the United States to go out on a one-day strike? This question was asked by Karen at AssortedStuff. I don't think you could ever get everyone (and by everyone I mean all of the organized locals throughout the country, not each and every teacher 'cause we know there will always be a few) to strike for one day, and I explained why on her site. It's a thought provoking question, though.

UTLA contract negotiations aren't going where they need UTLA members have been instructed to boycott faculty meetings starting January 9th. Only the unpaid, after school ones. UTLA has told its members not to worry about being written up or being docked pay, as they won't accept a contract without a "no reprisal" clause. Here is the FAQ about the job action. The funniest question: What should I do to prepare? A: Uh, just don't go to the meeting, dude. (Okay, so the italicized answer was mine. Though all of you that laughed out there in the blogosphere know that we get the most inane questions at job action meetings like these.)

I shouldn't even mention it, but a D11 school board member in Colorado (what's up with these western states and their numberical school boards?) has a blog and he talks about the union but it just seems to go on and on without purpose or without reason, even so much as to be interesting or brief or even to the point or allow my eyes to stop crying for wasting those precious seconds of my life that I will never get back because I have wasted them reading this blog entry. Don't read it, I'm not responsible for lost lifespan because of it. (Yes, I fully intended that to be a run-on sentence).

This strike cost $100,000 for security. Teachers are armed with weapons of mass destruction, after all. Er, instruction.

Did this school board commit an ULP (unfair labor practice) when they pretty much threw out this contract?

"Time to describe the room. The room is 20 by 24 carpet tiles. I think the tiles are 18 inches each which makes the room 30 by 36 feet. At the moment I am writing this there are 42 people in the room. When we come in we have to sign a book. Someone said they counted 100 pages in the book. There is no window. The room does seem a little light today and so I will try to count each day. Maybe I should give my weight like Bridgett Jones. There are two desks in the room 3 rectangular tables and one round table. My understanding from some of the veterans is that there used to be more tables but some were removed. One of the things we had to sign when we arrived said that we would not put our head down on the table and sleep. I suppose that is why the tables were taken away. Chairs are just scattered around the room but because we are still human beings many of the chairs have been formed into informal circles. I started by sitting in a chair facing no where and talking to no one, but gradually I became part of a circle. I have no awareness of how this happened or when it happened." Life in the Rubber Room.

When you get accused of something in NYC, you get put in a "rubber room". That is, pulled from your position, warehoused and paid. To sit. All day. This accused teacher blogs from the rubber room. Hence his blog title. It reminds me of the scene in Johnny Get Your Gun (the book, not the movie) where he's trying to feel the sunrise with his face. I don't think he's making his situation any better by blogging about it (apparently the "man" seems to know about it) but it's still an interesting read.

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