Posts Tagged ‘Union’

Teacher Stress a Real Issue

April 27, 2011

At a time when teachers are being unfairly picked on by politicians and the media and forced to take the heat for standardized test results and missed benchmarks, there is no wonder why teachers are suffering from stress.  The paperwork is ridiculously high and the support is nowhere to be seen.

Just look at what toll it is having on teachers in Britain:

An increase in Government targets and high-stakes Ofsted inspections is fuelling a rise in serious mental health problems among school staff, according to teachers’ leaders.

Most teachers said behaviour policies in schools were inconsistently enforced, allowing many pupils to get away with bad behaviour

The National Union of Teachers claim stress is now the main reason for driving teachers out of the profession.

It follows the publication of figures last year that showed almost 309,000 school teachers – more than half of the workforce – were signed off sick for an average of two weeks in 2009.

The NUT claim that staff are now routinely expected to work more than 50 hours a week after being swamped by marking and form-filling.

Speaking at the union’s annual conference in Harrogate, activities told how many teachers were resorting to alcohol to get through the day or even attempting suicide because of the workload.

Sue McMahon, branch secretary for Calderdale, West Yorkshire, said: “As a divisional secretary I have seen a meteoric rise in work-related stress and in more than one occasion have had to support a member who has attempted suicide.”

She said the problem was being caused by “the demands being placed on our members to hit Government targets”.

“We got into teaching to teach, not to be beaten by the target-driven culture of those Stepford heads who relish the Government agenda,” she said.

“The target tsunami escalating from the aspirations of this Government is sweeping away those [teachers] that you are struggling to support. And as the wave gets bigger it is leaving a trail of devastation in its wake that used to be a world class education system.”

Teachers need more support and consideration.  It isn’t an easy profession, and yet it continues to be more taxing and highly stressful than ever before.  Less paperwork, less beaurocracy, more support and more leadership from our politicians and administrators please?


Teacher’s Union Stuck on Viagra

March 10, 2011

I can see a sharp witted comedy writer pitching  a mockumentary to the studios about the inner workings of a teacher’s union.  While teachers are being layed off in their thousands, these unions defy logic with their soft approach and crazy fixations.  Never have they been so needed.  Never have they been so utterly useless.

Take what just happened in Milwaukee for example:

The Milwaukee teacher’s union has dropped its lawsuit to give male teachers access to free Viagra.

The union sued the Milwaukee district school board in 2010, with the aim of forcing them to include erectile dysfunction drugs on their free health insurance plan.

The union argued that, by excluding erectile dysfunction medications from this document, the board was discriminating against male employees.

However, union members were accused of having the wrong priorities, at a time when many teachers in the region were losing their jobs due to school cuts.

At the time the State Representative Jason Fields said: “You’ve got to be kidding me.”

The Milwaukee Democrat added: “The fact that is the point of contention is kind of frightening. What are our priorities? I’m all for love and peace. But almost 1 million dollars? [the estimate cost of adding Viagra to the bill] And you go to court over this issue?”

Lawyers for the school board also said that Viagra is mainly used for recreational sex and not to treat any long standing medical condition.

On the other hand, the counter argument went that erectile dysfunction is a genuine and widely recognised medical condition that affects millions of men, particularly older men. It was also argued by the union that male teachers suffering from the condition deserved access to Viagra, Levitra and Cialis. Impotence is associated with serious health problems such as atherosclerosis, high blood pressure and heart disease, and union members argued that ignoring the condition was therefore inappropriate.

This is an indictment on good, hard-working teachers on low saleries that pay big bucks every year to be part of what is arguably the most soft, useless union known to man.  To take a school board to court over Viagra when their members risk losing their jobs is insensitive, out of touch and just plain dumb.

Excuse the pun, but the teacher’s union has to harden up or refund their memberships!


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