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Going On Strike?

January 17th, 2007 at 07:08 pm

Well, I just got back home from walking an informational picket line for our teacher's union. I know that many people feel that teachers are overpaid, but would you work at a job where they're demanding more and more from you but haven't given you a raise in FIVE YEARS???

Now, even though this was an "informational" picket, we had all four local TV stations there and three different newspapers. We've been trying since July to again negotiate with the distict on a contract that expired in 2005. Considering the amount of work/requirements that they're now almost demanding of teachers, it would sure be nice if they would negotiate in good faith and with respect.

We had another informational picket a couple of months ago. When the press came, we told them that we were just doing this as a sort of low profile event and didn't want the coverage. Guess things changed when the district offered a ONE PERCENT raise! *smile* Now tell me, how insulting is that after five years of nothing?

I'm not 100% sure if the union is thinking of striking, but they are using the language about the steps it takes to get to striking level. It will not be pretty if that happens. *shudder* The strange thing is, the district has the money. What they're trying to do is keep a 5% reserve in funds when the State only requires a 3% reserve. The State gives the district a Cost of Living Adjustment each year. The district chooses not to pass that down to the teachers and uses it for other costs. Frown Hence, no raise!

Although I'm getting sickly, I decided that I really did need to show my support. Hopefully, I won't end up feeling like garbage tomorrow. Frown Don't want to spread it to my students...although I'm pretty sure they're the ones who gave it to me. Wink

13 Responses to “Going On Strike?”

  1. Amanda Says:

    Teachers are overpaid?

    Where do you live?

    I think it's disusting that our teachers our so underpaid. My mom is a teacher, and each year she makes sure to go out and stock up on supplies for students who she knows won't be able to afford them. Does the county reimburse her for this? No, of course not.

    Sigh. Good for you. I hope it doesn't turn into an all out strike, b/c honestly that would blow. But, I do hope they try to work with the teachers. We need to support them so that they can do a better job for our children.

    *Getting off my soapbox now*

  2. Cheetahwoman7 Says:

    Thank you, Amanda. My comment about some people who think teachers are over paid actually comes from comments that were made on one of the savings advice threads. It really made me speak up about what we teachers have to go through. The person making the comments just couldn't be swayed from their thought that teachers had it "so good". Oh well.

    I, too, hope that everything is settled, and settled soon. By-the-way, I live in California...a place where not getting a raise in five years can really effect your life!

  3. alianora Says:

    Been there, done that. You dont happen to be in CO, do you? As when I lived there and was teaching, we were having that same issue. And then our school and several other schools did a teacher "sick out" that I didnt participate in, and while we got our raises, our school was heavily punished with layoffs. Of which I was one. Yeehaw.

    The sick out was covered by the newspaper, and i LOVED reading the letters to the editor afterwords. Like the one where someone said that only people who cant get "real jobs" become teachers, and we should try working a whole *gasp* nine to five everyday!

    *headdesk*

  4. JanH Says:

    My DIL is a teacher and my grandmother was a teacher. I have friends who are teachers and DD's boyfriend is a teacher. I absolutely can't believe anyone would believe teachers are overpaid! The ones I know should get combat pay. And overtime for the long, long hours put in. Not to mention that insurance costs and other benefits are very expensive. I was shocked at how much my DIL has to pay in medical insurance compared to us. Teachers are unsung heroes along with policepersons and firepersons and nurses.

  5. boomeyers Says:

    Teachers, overpaid??? Hahahahahaha. Thats a GOOD one! In Missouri teachers are not allowed to go on strike either. Makes it harder to get anything!

  6. fern Says:

    I don't think teachers are either under- or over-paid, but with all due respect, i can't think of another profession with such generous vacation time, roughly one-quarter of the year!

    Many professionals in other fields work overtime for no addiitonal compensation.

  7. fairy74 Says:

    Teachers have the most important job in our society after parents they should be paid handsomely IMHO, however most teachers make very little and wind up contributing a lot of their own money to buy extra supplies for the children...just my two centsSmile

  8. LuckyRobin Says:

    The teachers in our state have it pretty good compared to a lot of states, and our district is one of the best for teacher pay, but that doesn't mean they make as much as they should. And they are constantly having to go back to school during the summer to update their credentials. Their summer vacation time is spent at college. So the whole summer off is a fallacy, they get a couple weeks of August off. They are back in their classrooms two weeks before schol starts. And they are still in their classrooms at least a week after school lets out for the summer.

    I can't believe anyone thinks teachers don't work a full 9 to 5 type job. It's more like 8 to 6. Our teachers are required to be there 1.5 hours before school starts and 30 minutes after school lets out. They often don't get more than ten minutes for lunch as they are on recess duty. They don't get a free planning period unless they are at the high school level. And they are correcting papers at least 1 hour a night at the elementary level, much more than that at the upper grades.

    I'd like to see the person who complained try to put up with not being able to go to the bathroom at will because you can't leave the kids alone. I'd like to see them control 20 kids at a time for 6 hours, or in some areas upwards of 30 kids. And just to make it fun, let them try doing it in middle school. Oh, and give them a UTI on top of it all. Then let them run their mouths off about how good teachers have it.

    My mom was a teacher and my neice is a teacher and I've seen what they have gone through. I may not be the biggest fan of the public school system, but unless a teacher is abusing their power or coming to work drunk/stoned, they deserve a better hand than they've been dealt. Especially if they have not gotten a raise in five years.

  9. Cheetahwoman7 Says:

    In regards to the "Many professionals in other fields work overtime for no addiitonal compensation.", I work PLENTY of over time for NO compensation, as well. As far as vacation time, I'm sure all the professionals you know get paid vacation time. Teachers, at least in most districts that I know of, it's a "No work, no pay" policy. We get NO paid vacation time, holidays, or any other time you can think of. We also aren't covered by some of the Federal laws in regards to break and lunch times.

    I'm so glad, Lucky Robin, that you pointed out the "put up with not being able to go to the bathroom at will because you can't leave the kids alone". There has been more than one occassion where I've had to leave my door open, run next door and ask the teacher there to try to keep an eye on my students while I literally RUN to the bathroom because the "office" says they can't spare anyone to look after my class for three minutes.

    Oh, I do have to share a story though. I was at work, out in a portable, waaayyyy too far from the nearest bathroom, when I started to feel queezy. I called the office to ask if someone could come relieve me just for a bit. It took them so long that by the time they got there, I had my window open, head stuck outside of it, trying to deep breathe. As I headed towards the bathroom, I didn't even make it half way before I (and excuse the graphicness) projectile vomited to the side of the playground. The "funny" thing was, they had just let out all the kids (including my own) for morning recess. Amazingly, after that, the office decided it was ok that I go home and they would take my students and disburse them amongst other teachers. For a bit there, I thought they'd make me stay and work! Smile

  10. fern Says:

    I'm not saying that teachers don't work hard, and don't face their own set of challenges specific to their jobs, whether it's keeping control of unruly kids or finding time for a bathroom break.

    I'm just pointing out that most every field has its challenges and stresses, and that i don't see that teachers are worse off or less compensated commensurate to their work compared to anyone else. I've worked late, or gotten in early, many a time, and there was even one time when i worked for a financial consulting business when i, and a handful of other employees, pulled an all-nighter, yes, we did not go home at all becus a deadline loomed and the client is king. But it's just part of the territory and to be expected in certain fields.

    Most teachers i've met or known take other jobs in the summer to earn extra money, so they do have at least a degree of extended free time that many of us don't have.They go back to school about a week before classes actually start. My dad was a teacher all his working life, as was my step-mother.

  11. Cheetahwoman7 Says:

    Can you tell me if those other professionals you know, your father, or step-mother have ever gone five years, in the same position having increasing responsibilities, without a raise? That was the whole point of my original post, the amount of time between raises.

    Also, fair pay ( to quote "I don't think teachers are either under- or over-paid") is based on many things: the district in which one works, the cost of living for the area in which one lives, and the amount of additional duties which are "required" and definitely grows year after year. When comparing districts, you can find vast differences, even in ones that touch each other. I'm just trying to clarify that our district isn't delivering fair pay for the amount of work they now want/require.

  12. Elizabeth Says:

    Hello! My name is Elizabeth, and my mother works for the colton school district as a food service worker. She has been telling me about the strike, and I decided to write about it for an ethical dilemma paper for a business communication class I am taking at USC. I just wanted to know if I could maybe talk to you about the situation, so I can understand it first hand. I would really appreciate your help! My email is edmiller@usc.edu

    Elizabeth

    P.S. I found your website while I was searching the internet for articles about the strike...don't worry I'm not creepy!

  13. Cheetahwoman7 Says:

    Sure Elizabeth, but I'm not in the Colton School District, so I'm not sure how I can help. You can either PM me here at Savings Advice or email me at: cheetahwoman7 at gmail dot com. Smile

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