Outlaw Teacher Strikes

Outlaw Teacher Strikes — Today’s Delaware County Daily Times had a tough editorial calling for the abolition of teacher strikes.

The Times points out that teachers in Moon Area School District across the state in Allegheny County went on strike after being offered a 2.88 percent raise. The Times also notes that teachers in the Bethel Park School District, also in Allegheny County are striking. The Bethel Park teachers  get salaries of between $45,700 and $92,548. They are offended, however, by the district’s request that they pay 2 percent of their individual health plans and 4 percent of their family ones. They now pay 0.5 percent and  0.9 percent respectively.

Has it started to dawn on anyone that teachers union really isn’t “for the children”?

And to the Times I say welcome to the club.

In 1990, I won an award for the editorial “Scrap Act 195”.  This was the 1970 law that allowed teachers to strike. The law was scrapped in 1992 and replaced with Act 88 which put some limits on teacher strikes. Ultimately it was nowhere near enough. The appropriate thing to do is to give school districts the power to not rehire teachers when their contracts end. It would require ending the tenure protection as well, but unless you a teacher or married to one, does that  really bother you?

These reforms are not just about money. Considering the cruelty of requiring a widow surviving on Social Security to cough up an extra couple hundred dollars each year — and that’s cumulative remember — just to keep her home, money should be more than reason enough to support banning strikes and tenure.

These reforms, though, really are ultimately about the children.

The  website StopTeachersStrikes.org has excellent background on the issue.

During my own little crusade I published a list of teacher and administrator salaries of some of the districts covered by the newspapers that I edited. It was quite controversial and even got me an interview with the superb Vern Odom of WPVI-TV which is Philadelphia’s ABC affiliate

Well, the web has made things a lot easier for that sort of thing. The salary information for public school employees in Pennsylvania can be found here.

Outlaw Teacher Strikes

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