Tuesday, February 20, 2007

Strike in PA/ Alaska Heating Up/ They Gave Up What?

Well, it's Tuesday and for the first time in 32 years, Baldwin-Whitehall teachers in PA are on strike.

Anchorage Education Association is training it's strike captains. They have to give a 72 hour notice for a strike, but nothing's been firmed up yet.

Okay, Simpsons fans out there...do you remember the episode where Homer negotiates away the plant workers' health benefits for a keg of beer? Thought it wouldn't happen, right? Uh...

So it's not a keg of beer, but....7 years ago Contra Costa teachers voted away ALL of their health care in return for more pay. Yes, you read that right. They pay all health care costs out of pocket, and some are paying more that $10,000 for it. Idiots! Now they're trying to negotiate it back. Good luck. I'm not one for revolution, but I hope there's been a complete turnover on the executive board and the officers and staff of the union since that stupid decision.
I'm going to be away from the computer 'till Friday, so no one go on strike or start a job action 'till I get back, 'kay?


Pissedoffteacher said...

I'm afraid that is going to be happening in other places as well. Some people are just plain stupid.

I tagged you as a thinking blogger. You have one of the best blogs around.

Anonymous said...

Just curious. I hope you will respond. Are you from the state of Mass? If so, I have something (nothing inflammatory) I would like to discuss a little further with you. I do hope you will respond w/ a yay or No. I will check back in a couple of days to see if you responded- hope you will. BTW, I am in NO WAY associated w/ education central office, CIA or like.. Just an old person who wanted to ask you a quick Q if you are from the state of Mass.

Best wishes,

Dr. Homeslice said...

I trust you. I got your other comments, this is the one I chose to post. feel free to email me at drhomeslice at hotmail blah blah blah. :)

Anonymous said...

From Alaska and things are getting tough here. A non-binding arbitrator's report sided with the key issues our association was making, however, said there was no money to fund our contract. He didn't remark on how the district could realign it's priorities though, and he's not a budget analyst. I'm awfully glad it was a non-binding report.

Dr. Homeslice said...

Odd you should write now, I just posted another update about everything including the arbitration report. I then saw your comment. Do you think Fuhrer's going to push for a strike now?

Anonymous said...

I don't think Fuhrer is going to push anything. It's up to the teachers. We took a strike vote in Dec. 2006 to show determination and solidarity while the arbitrator was here.

I am VERY disappointed in KTUU's depiction of events - clearly taking the district's side, scewing numbers, highlighting quotes, leaving other quotes out. It is up to the public to investigate for themselves before they decide to write letters to the editor. I have read the 23 page report, I have listened to the news, and I have combed through budget reports. There is money there and it is being wasted. High schools have 4-6 principals. My high school had two - a principal and vice principal and I was in a graduating class of over 500.

This district is top heavy and it's time to start realigning priorities. A couple of days ago, Carol Comeau was asked on KUDO why there was a surplus in last year's budget for teacher's salaries of $4.2 million. Her response (as the arbitrator's report shows) was that they couldn't hire the teachers they needed so they spent the money hiring 19.5 principals, 93 teacher's aides, and 1 teacher. 45% of SPED contracts offered are rejected and 40% of regular contracts are rejected. The superintendent said just this morning on KWHL that there are teachers who just want to strike. I will strike if the district does not come up with something better. For instance, in times of financial difficulty, why is the district opening two new charter schools? These charter schools will service approximately 350 students at a cost to the district of over $3.5 million dollars. The charter schools are not being opened to relieve crowding, they are optional programs. Yes, it is time for teachers to take a firm stance and I am willing to be judged by friends and aquaintances for striking, but you'd better be prepared to argue your point with facts and figures, not the figures or hearsay that the media is spreading around.


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