Sunday, June 22, 2008

CEAFU: Teacher Strikes

According to Simon Campbell of, there are more teacher strikes in Pennsylvania than in all the other states combined. He spoke to us at the Concerned Educators Against Forced Unionism conference, and was certainly the most animated and entertaining of the great speakers we heard. Of course, his English accent only heightened the hilarity! Watch him on video in the upper right video at the link above.

I don't agree with him that teachers should not be allowed to strike--I understand that he's concerned about his children, but I'm concerned about mine. If I were a parent in Pennsylvania, though, with its fanatical record of teachers strikes, perhaps I'd see things differently. I agree with him completely, though, about forced unionism, about school districts' taking teachers' money and giving it to unions, and similar points.

Teachers unions often like to make comparisons which they claim show how beneficial they are. For instance, Mississippi does not allow teachers to bargain collectively and, coincidentally, teacher pay on average is lower there than in the rest of the country. Does that correlation imply a causation, though? The union would certainly give the impression that it does. How about this chart, then, which shows that 7 of the top 10 states in terms of teacher pay do not allow teacher strikes?

I'm also curious how the average pay on that chart was calculated, as $63,000 seems a very high average, even here in California.


Fritz J. said...

While teacher's pay is not a perfect reflection, largely it follows the cost of living in the respective states. Where the cost of living is high, teachers are paid better than where it is low.

rightwingprof said...

State employees -- and that includes teachers -- in Indiana are forbidden by state law from striking. Indiana is a right to work state.

allen (in Michigan) said...

The data's supposed to come from an NEA publication.

Off hand, I'd assume that the NEA is more likely to understate teacher's salaries if they're going to misstate them.