A Question of Possibility
Reading some of the comments to my post on the Lincoln teacher union contract agreement, it strikes me that many of my anti-union compatriots give due appreciation to the reality of change.
The bottom line, as far as I can see, is that the union acknowledged the reality of limited funds and, rather than tumble into the public-relations nightmare that has attached itself to, for example, the Tiverton NEA gang, chose to shuffle the dollars around pretty much within its existing slice of the pie. That’s a step in the right direction.
Sure, the members probably wanted to put as much money as possible into “raises” (in reality, step adjustments) so that those percentages would continue to grow into the future. No doubt, they likely hope to undo or shift some of the “concessions” when the economic environment improves. But continuing to ratchet up the squeeze is the duty of private citizens.
Don’t insist on all or nothing, because even well-meaning beneficiaries of a corrupted system will burrow back into the comfort of unjust manipulation if their little steps forward yield nothing but heightened rebuke. The goal must be to translate our gains, as limited as they may at first be, into the language of systematic reform that remains even when dollars aren’t so scarce (which is a distinct possibility sometime before mid-century).