If Nothing Else, Sympathy
One of the great boons of the Internet is the ability of a few keywords to lead random citizens to sympathetic conversations — replete with research, back-story, and action — already in progress. In my emailbox this weekend:
I am writing today after having stumbled upon your “Anchor Rising” website which described the 2005 East Greenwich School Contract.
I thought I was reading my own mind…let me explain. I am new to the Town of West Greenwich, 2 years. The teachers are in the middle of negotiating a new contract and have been working though they have not settled on a contract. What made me start researching these things was…
[Personal info removed.] My daughter’s teacher suggested to me, not me asking her, that my daughter come to school at 8:00 a.m., prior to the school day starting and she would tutor her. I agreed and had taken my daughter in a total of maybe four times. My wife was contacted the other evening by the teacher saying how embarrassed she was at having to make this phone call. The teacher stated that she had been advised that she could no longer tutor my daughter without being paid. The teacher didn’t even know how much she should charge. The teacher stated that she was told that she had to “work to rule.” She also sent me some emails, of which I still have, with the same language as what you wrote about on your website. She stated that she had to side with the union and wished the parents would also support them.
She told how she works very hard outside of school, that we should support the union, that our children are not being hurt. I am appalled and disgusted that as our economy continues to be devastated almost daily, where we are losing jobs and benefits at an alarming rate, the union and the teachers are still of the opinion that they deserve MORE, not less and that we need to pay them to live the lifestyles they lead.
My wife informed the teacher that we are both self employed, have no work to rule, have no paid days off, summers off, paid healthcare etc… My wife and I pay $1,300.00 per month for healthcare. The teacher stated that she didn’t even know what she pays as it is taken
out automatically from her check. My wife told her that if she didn’t even notice what has been deducted, then it couldn’t be very much!
This nonsense needs to stop. It’s amazing how history seems to repeat itself. I could not believe what I was reading as I read your site. Thanks for at least showing me that I’m not completely losing my mind and that the NEA and teachers are out of control.
The teacher, of course, “has no choice but to go along.” As seems to be the case in all unionized fields, members are apparently professionally obligated to participate in strong-arm tactics to ensure that their salaries and benefits are far beyond what’s currently available in the private sector.