Burrillville Teachers to Students: Let the Pawns Skip School

Shame on the Burrillville teachers for striking. As the people — especially parents — of that town are discovering, there is no better example of the teachers’ unions’ profoundly unreasonable power than their failure to obey the law and decline to strike. The district should fire anybody who doesn’t show up for work tomorrow, and we all should take the Burrillville teachers’ bad example as reason to end teacher unionization in this state.
As a first step, I wonder whether a movement could be formed to make it mandatory that future strikes in Rhode Island will be punished with lost jobs, with the deadline for contract signing a few months before the first day of school.

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Greg
Greg
13 years ago

As I understand it they are still under LAST year’s contract until the 31st so they’re violating the terms of an EXISTING agreement.
Bob was on 630 this morning doing his best spin to say this wasn’t really a strike. What a friggin hack he is. Talks a lot and says nothing of value.

Frank
Frank
13 years ago

I agree Justin, and if all the teachers fail to show up, which is likely, they should fire all of them and rehire teachers at steps 1 thru 5. Not only would this send a strong message to the teachers union, it would cut the school budget in half, making for a much lower property tax bill.

Tom W
Tom W
13 years ago

>>I agree Justin, and if all the teachers fail to show up, which is likely, they should fire all of them and rehire teachers at steps 1 thru 5. Not only would this send a strong message to the teachers union, it would cut the school budget in half, making for a much lower property tax bill.
Further, the teachers unions’ agenda tells us that all teachers are identical, but for their seniority – so the unions will have to acknowledge that replacing lawbreaking teachers will not have a detrimental impact on educational outcomes!

Will
Will
13 years ago

But they’re striking “for the children,” right? Of course not.
I guess they think that their annual extortion attempts of local taxpayers helps build good will.

Tom W
Tom W
13 years ago

>>I guess they think that their annual extortion attempts of local taxpayers helps build good will.
So long as they keep the Democrats running the General Assembly bought and paid for they don’t need good will nor have to give a wit about the best interests “of the children” And they demonstrate that, year after year after year.

Tom W
Tom W
13 years ago

http://theunionnews.blogspot.com/2007/08/teachers-out-on-strike-in-rhode-island.html
“’We wanted to try and get this resolved,’ said the official, Patrick M. Crowley, assistant executive director of the National Education Association of Rhode Island … Crowley was less specific when he was asked to identify sticking points in the negotiations. ‘Management is asking for things they can’t afford to buy this year,’ he said. ‘The system wants to change the role of teachers from professionals to staffers who take direction,’ Crowley said. He declined to elaborate.”
It’s all ducked-up in Burrillville, eh Crowley? Are you wearing your duck costume to the negotiating table????
I’ve got news for you:
Professionals aren’t compensated based on seniority, but on individual performance and reputation.
Professionals are accountable for their individual performance – and don’t rely upon tenure to hold their positions.
Professionals don’t walk picket lines.
So let’s stop pretending that the members of your union are “professionals,” OK? Maybe calling them that is good for intra-union PR and political correctness, and for your members “self-esteem,” but let’s deal with the reality of what they do and how they comport themselves as directed by your organization.
Teachers CAN be true professionals, but not so long as they are under an NEA regime.
Quack quack!

Greg
Greg
13 years ago

“Management is asking for things they can’t afford to buy this year”
I LOVE this quote. What Pat really means is “Burrillville can’t afford to let the teachers pay so little into their health plan anymore and are trying to put that cost where it belongs, with the employee. But we don’t wanna and we’re gonna take our ball and go home until they stop asking.”

Steve
Steve
13 years ago

When the Union came to the table in East Greenwich last time the President said ” we’re not here for the kids”.
All the districts that are going through this dog and pony show should have a plan to get tutors lined up, start a search maybe in India with a personel agency and show the NEA they mean business.This Union needs to be broken now!

Ragin' Rhode Islander
Ragin' Rhode Islander
13 years ago

>>When the Union came to the table in East Greenwich last time the President said ” we’re not here for the kids”.
All the districts that are going through this dog and pony show should have a plan to get tutors lined up, start a search maybe in India with a personel agency and show the NEA they mean business.This Union needs to be broken now!
That would require a school committee that hasn’t been stacked with NEA members, their immediate families and other teacher union sycophants.
But of course here in RI being a member of the NEA while “negotiating” with the NEA isn’t considered to be a conflict of interest!
Every contract negotiation season the teachers unions and their lackey members habitually abuse thousands of children with things like strikes and “work to rule” – so wouldn’t it be appropriate to start calling them what they are, “contract pedophiles” or “negotiating pedophiles”?

Bob Walsh
Bob Walsh
13 years ago

The Burrillville teachers have fulfilled the terms of the existing contract, which expires August 31st. Had a new agreement been in place, there would have been no issue with starting the next contract “early”, although it is not in effect until September 1st. In fact, in hopes an agreement would be reached, two days were worked earlier this week.
The case law is quite clear on these matters – if a judge orders the teachers back to work after a hearing (this still being America, after all), and the teachers defy the court order, that would constitute a violation of the law. The case law also says that if no new agreemwnt has been reached after the current contract expires (this Friday), the terms and conditions of the old contract stay in effect until a new agreement is reached.

mikeinRI
mikeinRI
13 years ago

Mr. Walsh, I found odd Pat Crowley’s use of the term “management”. Do you use the term management to refer to the other side of the table? Who exactly do you view as management?

Bob Walsh
Bob Walsh
13 years ago

Mike,
I think in this context Pat was referring to the Superintendent and School Committee. Generally, the proposals we see in bargaining represent a combination of issues put forward by both (but the School Committee is ultimately responsible for the proposals).
I think that I am more likely to use the term “management” when typing than speaking, and in generic situations as opposed to specific ones, as I think I did earlier tonight when addressing the buyback issue on another thread.
Ironically, in NEARI’s structure, I am technically “management” to Pat.

Will
Will
13 years ago

I’ll really never understand union mentality, thank God. Perhaps if their contract is fulfilled, then we can just let them all go, since there’s nothing binding them to their jobs, right?
If they’ve “fulfilled” the existing contract (which as Bob stated, doesn’t actually expire until Friday), why not just continue working without one until an agreement is reached, instead of using children as human shields? The unions always seem to get the store handed to them retroactively anyway, since they’re usually on both sides of the negotiating table. They’re just doing this for some publicity and to show their muscle to their General Assembly whores like they do every few years around this time. What’s new.

johnpaycheck
johnpaycheck
13 years ago

there are 203 teachers..they could replace 100 in a flash.. the rest will be teachers that cross the picket line that don’t wnat to loses their great gig…
the pat and bob show is getting really piggish, peopel of tired of it…with the pending deficit next year, if i was a union leader, i woluld read the writing on the wall and try to work with the students….rahter than aggravate the public

johnpaycheck
johnpaycheck
13 years ago

there are 203 teachers..they could replace 100 in a flash.. the rest will be teachers that cross the picket line that don’t wnat to loses their great gig…
the pat and bob show is getting really piggish, peopel of tired of it…with the pending deficit next year, if i was a union leader, i woluld read the writing on the wall and try to work with the students….rahter than aggravate the public

SusanD
SusanD
13 years ago

“The case law is quite clear on these matters – if a judge orders the teachers back to work after a hearing (this still being America, after all), and the teachers defy the court order, that would constitute a violation of the law.”
Is that how a professional conducts him/herself? Waits for a court order to go back to work? This is where we are reminded that teacher contracts are framed on an industrial, not professional, basis.

SusanD
SusanD
13 years ago

“said the official, Patrick M. Crowley, assistant executive director of the National Education Association of Rhode Island”
Question for anyone who knows: does Crowley wear his George Bush mask at press conferences and/or in NEA meetings?

Justin Katz
13 years ago

Spin it however you like, Bob, but the fact is that children are not in school when they were supposed to be, and the reason is that the union knows that lengthy periods of that experience are intolerable to a community.
Extortion. Unconscionable.
I still say: put out a call for applications (with emergency certification available) and tell the teachers that contracts will expire when they expire for any of them who aren’t in their classrooms by the end of the week.

Steve Gregson
Steve Gregson
13 years ago

What do the individual teachers get for there money from this organization besides a big whip when it comes to contract time? As a Union member what do they get for there money? Here as a list of overhead from the NEA site.It’s a pretty impressive list.Looks to me like dues support a lot of people. Does this give us better teachers? No, it just keeps the circle complete!
President
Lawrence E. Purtill, Ex./West Green. LPurtill@nea.org
1st Vice President
Raymond J. Pouliot, E.Greenwich
RPouliot@nea.org
Secretary
Louis Rainone, CCRI/ACE
lgrl3@cox.net
Asst. Secretary
Jackie Iacono, South Kingstown
jiacono1224@cox.net
Treasurer
Amy Mullen, Tiverton amullen@tivschools.com
Asst. Treasurer
Maureen Pontarelli, Ex./W.Greenwich
pontarellim@ewg.k12.ri.us
NEA Director
Tia Scigulinsky, Newport ride3551@ride.ri.net
Area Vice Presidents
Region I Fran Barry, East Providence
frances229@cox.net
Region II Carroll Feather, Portsmouth carroll655@cox.net
Region III Cathy Fogarty, South Kingstown
cathab@aol.com
Region IV Marianne Lowe, North Smithfield
dmkblo@aol.com
Region V Leo Maynard, North Kingstown
maynardl@ride.ri.net
Higher Education Richard Tessier, CCRI/PSA RTessier@ccri.cc.ri.us
Higher Education ESP Paul Haroian,CCRI ACE
pharoian@yahoo.com
K-12 ESP Marie Glass, Chariho ESP lmdgla@chariho.k12.ri.us
State, Municipal, Retired Personnel William Finelli, Retired bpfinelli@cox.net
STAFF
Executive Director
Robert A. Walsh, Jr. RWalsh@nea.org
Deputy Executive Director
Vincent P. Santaniello, Esq. VSantaniello@nea.org
Assistant Executive Directors/UniServ
Jane Argentieri JArgentieri@nea.org
Patrick Crowley PCrowley@nea.org
Jerome Egan JEgan@nea.org
Peter Gingras PGingras@nea.org
Thomas Landry TLandry@nea.org
John Leidecker JLeidecker@nea.org
Jeanette Woolley JWoolley@nea.org
Business Manager
Walter A. Young WYoung@nea.org
Communications Director
Karen Comiskey Jenkins KJenkins@nea.org
Government Relations Specialist
Henry Boeniger HBoeniger@nea.org
General Counsel
John DeCubellis,Jr.,Esq. JDecubellis@nea.org
Administrative Assistant
Cheryl A. Hawes CHawes@nea.org
Office Secretaries
Anne Marie Egan AEgan@nea.org
Joni Hughes JHughes@nea.org
Rhonda Muncey RMuncey@nea.org
Karen Pigeon KPigeon@nea.org
Charlene Small CSmall@nea.org
Valerie Staples VStaples@nea.org

Greg
Greg
13 years ago

Sheesh. I wonder how much you could save just by canning HALF of those people… I mean, if Bob didn’t have his hand up his arse, Pat Crowley would just be aimlessly running around the state with his duck suit on. One has to assume that the people BELOW Pat are cronies who sucked all the right people to get cushy jobs doing little or nothing.
It’s the union way!

SusanD
SusanD
13 years ago

Wow, thirty six people. Good find, Steve G.

Will
Will
13 years ago

Well, I guess this kind of answers the question as to why we have 36 school districts, doesn’t it? 7 “Assistant Executive Directors” in a state with only 5 counties — counties that we don’t even bother using because we’re smaller than a lot of icebergs? Is Deputy Vice Assistant Executive Director available, because I want in on the action! Does anyoone over their have a sense of shame? Geesh!
Executive Director
Robert A. Walsh, Jr. RWalsh@nea.org
Deputy Executive Director
Vincent P. Santaniello, Esq. VSantaniello@nea.org
Assistant Executive Directors/UniServ
Jane Argentieri JArgentieri@nea.org
Patrick Crowley PCrowley@nea.org
Jerome Egan JEgan@nea.org
Peter Gingras PGingras@nea.org
Thomas Landry TLandry@nea.org
John Leidecker JLeidecker@nea.org
Jeanette Woolley JWoolley@nea.org

Tom W
Tom W
13 years ago

I believe that the “Area Vice Presidents” are public school teachers.
Which no doubt means that by contract they get time off for conducting “union business” – POSSIBLY STILL BEING PAID BY US INSTEAD OF BY THE UNION – not to Mention the expense of a substitute brought in to fill in while they’re performing “union business.”

SusanD
SusanD
13 years ago

“Which no doubt means that by contract they get time off for conducting “union business” – POSSIBLY STILL BEING PAID BY US INSTEAD OF BY THE UNION …”
Not possibly, definitely. There was a wonderful principal in South Kingstown by the name of Donna Sennett. In her first year, she put her foot down on some reasonable things, including teachers meeting with union reps during school hours. They set on her like a pack of ravening wolves. We unfortunately lost her to a voc-tech school.
It sounds, by the way, like Burrillville is trying to implement some of those same basic management practices – hence, Pat Crowley’s mature response.

Tom W
Tom W
13 years ago

>>Not possibly, definitely. There was a wonderful principal in South Kingstown by the name of Donna Sennett. In her first year, she put her foot down on some reasonable things, including teachers meeting with union reps during school hours. They set on her like a pack of ravening wolves. We unfortunately lost her to a voc-tech school.
SusanD:
I happen to be very well acquainted with the injustice(s) committed against Ms. Sennett.
The poor people of SK have been duped into believing that they have an excellent school system. It is – compared to Providence, I suppose. But if the parents really knew how it was operated behind closed doors they’d be shocked, and infuriated once they realized the potential that is unrealized.
>>It sounds, by the way, like Burrillville is trying to implement some of those same basic management practices – hence, Pat Crowley’s mature response.
There is a book called “The Worm in the Apple” by Peter Brimelow. A great expose regarding how the NEA works – including its methods for taking over management control of school districts.
I HIGHLY recommend it.

Pat Crowley
13 years ago

SueD, arbiter of truth, justice, and now maturity! Great job you have appointed yourself to.
Justin, I wish you would take the time to really investigate the issues instead of having this ivory tower, knee-jerk reaction.
TomW, if the Assembly is controlled by the unions, then why did they level fund education and pass Paiva-Weed?

Frank
Frank
13 years ago

Pat, since you’re on the inside here, so to speak, maybe you could explain the issues in the Burrillville situation. As a casual observer reading the news this seems like just one more instance of a powerful public sector union doing what it does best, gouging the taxpayer and, in this case, completely ignoring multiple needs within the community. Maybe you could explain your point that this is not what it seems.

Tom W
Tom W
13 years ago

>>TomW, if the Assembly is controlled by the unions, then why did they level fund education and pass Paiva-Weed?
Because the General Assembly’s back is to the wall (a situation of its own making).
It not only has to please its teachers union constituency, but its other constituencies – e.g., the other government unions, the welfare lobby (including the unionized staffers that man it), and the construction unions (do you really think that, in this “crisis” budget year the Lincoln courthouse was passed merely to please Frank Williams, and not also the construction unions now that Twin Rivers is completed?).
The level funding this year was to shove the problem onto municipal governments while using the “savings” to placate the aforementioned other constituencies.
As for Paiva-Weed, it was enacted during an election year to head-off the drive for citizen initiative, which in turn was gaining momentum due to the brewing property tax revolt in this State. Let’s see if / how long it sticks before concluding that the Democrat General Assembly “sold out” the union bosses.

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