Negotiating Child Abuse

So what are the odds of this becoming law?

Amending state law to clearly prohibit strikes is the task force’s first recommendation. If Carcieri supports the plan as expected, he would have to ask lawmakers to submit the bill to the General Assembly for a vote.
Officials at the state Department of Education researched tougher labor laws in Pennsylvania and New York when crafting the amendments, according to Deputy Education Commissioner David V. Abbott. One amendment would force teachers who strike to pay a penalty of two days’ pay into a state school fund for every day on strike. When teachers strike now, they suffer no financial consequences.
The changes also would prohibit strikes and expand the definition to include “any strike or other concerted job action commonly referred to as ‘work to rule’ including, without limitation, any stoppage of work, slowdown or curtailment of one more customary teaching practices that are typically provided or performed by teachers in the absence of a strike.” Superintendents and principals told the task force they consider “work-to-rule” actions more detrimental to students than strikes, as the action can drag on for years, as it did in Warwick. West Warwick, Tiverton and East Greenwich have also recently experienced periods of “work-to-rule,” also called “contract compliance.”

Teacher strikes and work-to-rule aren’t “negotiation tactics”; they’re extortionary child abuse. They take advantage of children’s innocence and taxpayers’ lack of choice concerning schooling.
Although he’s obviously not banned or vocally denounced strikes and work-to-rule within his own organization, the NEA’s Bob Walsh says (in the Projo’s paraphrase) that he “prefers third-party binding arbitration.” No doubt he does! Put the contracts in the hands of unelected bureaucrats, and everybody else can disclaim responsibility for the crushing increases in government spending.
Want an alternative to strikes and work-to-rule? How about teachers individually negotiate with their employers to reach agreements that reflect their actual value to the district, as well as the district’s value to them?

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16 years ago

This is just a peripheral point, but why do we always have to do what New York does?

16 years ago

Andrew, Not ALWAYS! The other times we do what Massachusetts does.

Tom W
Tom W
16 years ago

The unions LOVE “third party binding arbitration.” (They do this in CT.)
It sound innocuous and fair, but that is not the reality.
Arbitrators like to be reselected, for that is how they make their money. So they are inclined not to make decisions that will so upset one side as to “blackball” themselves in the future.
Plus, unlike private sector management, they do not have to worry about “staying in business” or where the money will come from, to pay for their rulings, so they are even less accountable to the public than are the already union-influenced school committees. They don’t have to answer to voters and taxpayers, they seek “reelection” by being chosen from a list agreed to by the teachers unions and school committee.
So the almost universal result is that “third party arbitrators” almost always look to selective precedent (other arbitrators rulings, existing contracts, etc.) AND almost always “split the baby” by giving each side something (less than it asked for, and more than the other side wanted to give) – which means by definition that the union always ends up with more than it started with.
So the ball always moves forward for the teachers unions with “neutral third party arbitration.”
Common sense tells us that if Bob Walsh is for it, it is bad for children and taxpayers.

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