Friday, March 27, 2009

Striking Teachers

Recent stories about the county education system, I believe, answer the questions and issues raised in each. Last week the story was on why Anne Arundel County public school teachers are not "respected" by the residents and taxpayers in the county who are, after all, the folks that "elect" the school board, county council and county executive.

An estimated 800 teachers crowded inside and outside of county school HQ on Riva Road last week to protest this or that revision to the local union contract. First, the teachers better make up their minds. That is, do they want respect? Or do they want a union contract? After all, when you wield a union contract, you don't need the kind of respect the teachers want.

If teachers wanted to be "respected" and "valued" they would stop trying to make us believe that their working conditions are similar to those of steel workers and coal miners. No one does. Unlike sweatshops and factories of yore, teachers are not exploited by their employers who take advantage of employee dependence and force them to work for peanuts under dangerous conditions.

Instead the teachers should abandon the union and treat themselves like true professionals.

The other thing I find interesting when I hear teachers or union bosses complaining that they are not valued and respected (loved, applauded, revered, worshipped) is that they are talking about you and me! They are talking about their friends and neighbors! Who do they think they are actually affecting when they negotiate with the school board? Martians? So I find it insulting that my neighbors want more money out of me and assumes that I don't respect them.

This week I read a story about how it's only a few days before the deadline and no one has applied to run for the at-large school board seat. I wonder why?

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