Saturday, January 27, 2007

California Craziness! LA, Bakersfield! Parents on Strike!

It's spring, it must be the season for job action flowers to bloom. The first one, a "work to the rule" petunia, comes to us from Bakersfield, California.

The "strike vote" tulip is predicted to come out in LA February 12-14th.

Can you belive it...parents keeping their kids home so that their teachers' union will be supported in their negotiations. Yes, folks, that's right....a parent's strike supporting a teacher's strike! 2/2 Update: It's over, the teachers got their contract!

In Houston, the Houston Independent School District Superintendent put his foot in his mouth and now he's go a bunch of teachers that want to call in sick in protest. Bad idea, as the HFT President says it could cost teachers their jobs and certification.

Commentary: Sicking out hurts the credibility of your local-- it's not a collective bargaining technique that I endorse. I'm all for job actions (like striking and working to the rule), but for if they're going to be effective you need to coordinate them with your local. A few teachers doing something on their own make themselves look bad and make the whole union look bad. There are democratic processes in place in your union to get the message to your leadership and the leadership of the school board. Use them-- don't resort to sicking out.

THIS JUST IN (January 30th)
Punxsutawney Phil might be carrying a picket sign in solidarity with the teachers. The aforemention local district's teachers have been working without a contract since '04, walked out in '05 and are ready to do it again, and have an authorized strike vote. Last negotiations are scheduled for 2/8. I'm going to add 'em to Strike Watch.

(Ok, so it's not spring, but I want it to be.)

By the way, don't forget to take a look at my new and exclusive feature!

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