Do the Public Really Support Striking Teachers?


I agree that disrespect for teachers has reached a new low. However, I can’t see how striking is the solution. If anything, striking creates even more hostility.

Chicago Teachers Union President Karen Lewis disagrees:

“At this point we need to understand where people are emotionally and where they are in terms of how they feel about the situation at hand, and what they know,” Lewis said in April. “And the issue is, again, I have never, in my 22 years of teaching and being in the classroom, seen this kind of hostility and this disrespect for teachers.”

I’m sorry to break the news to you Karen, but strikes will not make the public think of us any better.

Click on the link to read If Teachers Were Paid More I Wouldn’t Have Become One
Click on the link to read “Better Pay Leads to Better teachers”: Prove it!
Click on the link to read The Overwhelming Responsibilies of the Modern Teacher

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One Response to “Do the Public Really Support Striking Teachers?”

  1. John Tapscott Says:

    It’s like this: Nobody is compelled to sell anything on the market if the price or condition of the sale are unfavourable. Why should it be any different for teachers? Or anyone who has only their labour to sell, for that matter. I know of no teacher who relishes taking strike action. I know of no teacher who doesn’t agonise long and hard. Nobody takes action that sacrifices wages lightly. There have been some strikes that have been deliberately provoked by the employing authority for reasons of their own. I remember the first time ever the NSW Teachers Federation called a strike. I was on the executive of the local branch of the union. It was a most distressing time for all concerned. The employer flatly refused to negotiate and resorted to all manner of dirty tricks in the industrial commission. After many years of wages erosion due to inflation, I think, from memory, the industrial commission awarded an unprecedented 17% wage increase, which barely restored wages parities for teachers. Nobody likes strikes. Had it not been for trades unions we would still be sending our children out to work cleaning chimneys and such like. Improvements always involve struggle. I remember reading about a Welsh miners strike. The government of the day proposed sending in the troops to get them back to work. The politicians didn’t support the miners. The pit owners flatly refused the claims of the miners and the government wanted to use the army. It didn’t happen because the King refused to allow his troops to be used against his own subjects.
    It might come as a surprise to some but the birth of trade unionism was borne out of Christian concern for the plight of workers; the same kind of concern that led Lord Shaftesbury to promulgate laws against child labour, and William Wilberforce to fight for the abolition of slavery.
    Strikes are not popular. Nobody likes them. But sometimes workers, including teachers, are left with no other alternative.

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