Thursday, June 12, 2014

Billionaires Win Another One.

Previously I wrote about the billionaire’s funding an attack on teachers.

Unfortunately the decision came down on the side of the billionaires, potentially eliminating due process and other rights for teachers.

I first want to state that the overwhelming amount of education research is on the side of teachers. When you support teachers schools do better. Period.

But I want to focus more on how chilling this decision is.

As a union member I know that I have rights in the workplace. For a court to say that the rights to due process, seniority and other protects is unconstitutional, should really worry us all.

The right to collectively bargain for fair wages and working conditions is a fundamental right. It’s something we recognize as basic and support not just here at home, but abroad as well.

Working conditions matter to the lives of employees. Better working conditions attract better employees and make them better equipped to produce good work. Working conditions look different for each job. For educators it includes basic due process, tenure and seniority.

Teachers shouldn’t have to worry that a complaint from a homophobic or racist parent might lead to their dismissal, so due process is important.

Teachers shouldn’t have to worry that after the summer they aren’t being brought back to teach, that’s what tenure ensures.

Teachers should have to worry that their higher salary because they’ve been teaching for 10 years makes them a better target for layoffs during budget cuts, that’s why seniority matters.

For the court to say that some of the basics of what teachers need to have fair working conditions is at odds with what students need should worry us all. Giving teachers what they need helps student, period. Making a teachers job more secure let’s them focus on helping student.

Courts shouldn’t say what we bargain for is unconstitutional. I stand in solidarity with union members in the classroom. Keep fighting for your rights, because you know what’s best for students and schools.

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