Monday, October 20, 2008

Rabid Teachers Union Supporters

Why is it that some people who normally don't even think about unions--they don't look for the union label, they don't march in rallies, they don't even want to be a faculty union rep--get rabid when a fellow teacher dares question the teachers union?

I know why I think that is, but I'm curious to hear from RotLC readers before I offer my opinion on this topic.


Matthew K. Tabor said...

I forget who said this recently - someone on Flypaper, I think - but teachers are martyrs.

Teachers unions aren't unions, they're a collection of martyrs that works, in part, to protect that martyrdom.

It's a thought.

Law and Order Teacher said...

I think that people come apart at the seams when the union is questioned is that they are very poorly informed personally and depend upon their reps, who are often indoctrinated by the parent unions. I remember that when I was union president, the parent unions were very adept at twisting every situation into a throwdown between labor and management. They managed the anger they generated very well and used it to keep the herd engaged. The flock sees the union as the big brother that will protect them from the evil management ogre. My experience is that the membership as a whole doesn't want to spend the time boning up on their own contract and in most cases they don't even know what's in it. I base this statement on the fact that the issues put forth by the rank and file at the beginning of negotiations are for the most part unrealistic. How about a 10% pay increase, more paid holidays, more vacation days etc. Some of these would be nice, but realism sets in and you have to get what you can. I've tried to explain this to the members many times, each time being called a traitor and a management shill and sometimes worse. In other words, I'm mad as hell and I want you to do something about it. All in all, it wasn't a fun experience.